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CDC: 2 in 3 pregnant women don't get flu, whooping cough vaccines

Posted at 5:12 PM, Oct 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-11 19:33:48-04

KILLEEN, TX — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women who get vaccinated pass antibodies to their babies which protects babies for several months after birth.

However, a large amount of moms to be are making the decision to opt out.

In fact, the CDC found only one out of three pregnant women in the U.S. receive both the influenza and whooping cough (Tdap) vaccines.

For registered nurse Ashley Hardcastle, the decision to get the flu and whooping cough vaccinations during her pregnancy was an easy one.

"I did six weeks in pediatrics, and just for me to see the babies that were in there with the flu, or in there with the whooping cough, it broke my heart. I mean, it's a totally different story when you see a little baby with an oxygen nasal cannula. I mean it's heartbreaking," said Hardcastle.

Meanwhile, Dr. Dallas Johnston and his wife Sommer decided to opt out.

"I always tell people, make an informed decision for yourself and your family, which is exactly what we did. So we chose not to when we looked at the ingredients and we looked at the side effects listed on the CDC's website," said Johnston.

Johnston and his wife are not alone.

According to the CDC, about two in three pregnant women do not receive the flu and whooping cough vaccinations.

"Look at the flu vaccine itself on the CDC's website," said Johnston. "It tells you it does not cause the flu, but then you look at the side effects of the vaccine and it's soreness, muscle aching, fever - essentially the flu, and then you see some of the ingredients, right, you see things like thimerosal, which is mercury, and that's a big one hot topic and it is still in the flu vaccine."

However, Hardcastle explained she did not experience any of the side effects.

"I know some people have side effects to the flu shot, but I didn't have any complications, and I mean we have a healthy two-month-old that you know doesn't have any developmental issues or anything that I know a lot of people are scared of. Not saying that it can't happen but in our case it's, you know, he turned out fine," said Hardcastle.

However, the two agreed, when it comes down to it, the decision is left to the mother.

"That's your chance to say, "Hey, what is it?" Look at both sides of it and make that decision," said Johnston.

For more information on the two vaccinations, you can visit these links:
Tdap (whooping cough) Vaccine
Influenza Vaccine