This Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 photo shows nurse Debbie Smerk, right, administering a flu shot to Pamela Black at MetroHealth in Cleveland. Ohio health authorities reported Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 that a child has died from flu complications, as the state's flu-associated hospitalizations continue to climb at much higher rates than the last two flu seasons. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
NEW YORK (AP) -- A large study offers reassuring news for pregnant women worried about getting a flu shot.
The research found no evidence that the vaccine increases the risk of losing a fetus, and may prevent some fetal deaths.
The flu vaccine has long been considered safe for pregnant women. U.S. health officials began recommending flu shots for them more than five decades ago.
Experts say the new study is perhaps largest look at the safety and value of flu shots during pregnancy.
The study was released by the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday as the United States and Europe suffer through an early and intense flu season.
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