Flu Vaccination During Pregnancy

March 6, 2018 by: Pediatrics for Parents staff Article Tags: ,

The Question: Does maternal flu vaccination during pregnancy offer protection to the baby during her first six months of life?

The Study: The records of nearly a quarter million women who were pregnant between December 2005 and March 2014. The number of cases of flu in the babies during their first six months of life were recorded and matched to the mother’s influenza vaccination status.

The Results: The maternal flu vaccination rate increased from 2.2% before the 2009 H1N1 pandemic to 21% after the pandemic. Overall, 10% of the women were immunized. Eight hundred sixty-six of the infants had an influenza-like illness during their first six months of life: 32 whose mothers were immunized against the flu while pregnant and 832 with mothers who were not immunized. One hundred fifty-one of the infants were hospitalized for their illness: 3 whose mothers were immunized and 148 whose mothers who were not immunized.

Comment: This study supports the benefits of immunizations. The infants benefited both from passive immunity from their mothers and their decreased exposure to people sick with the flu.

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