Influenza Protection from Mothers

February 26, 2018 by: Pediatrics for Parents staff Article Tags: ,

The Question: How long does maternal protection against the flu last in newborns?

The Study: In this study from South Africa, 1,026 pregnant women received the flu vaccine and another 1,023 received a placebo vaccination. The number of infants who has test-positive influenza was recorded for infants 8 weeks old or younger, 8 to 16 weeks, and 16 to 24 weeks of age.

The Results: The vaccine’s effectiveness was greatest among the youngest infants and steadily declined as the infants aged. The vaccine was 85% effective in the youngest group to 30% effective in the oldest.

Comment: Maternal protection from the flu declined rapidly in the infants studied. The flu is a potentially serious illness, and vaccines, while not perfect, lessen the incidence and severity of this potentially life-threatening infection.

Read More: JAMA Pediatrics, 09/16