Flu Vaccination During Pregnancy Protects Both Mother and Baby

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Julie H. Shakib, DO, MS, MPH Assistant Professor of Pediatrics | University of Utah Medical Director | Well Baby and Intermediate Nursery Salt Lake City

Dr. Julie Shakib

Julie H. Shakib, DO, MS, MPH
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics | University of Utah
Medical Director | Well Baby and Intermediate Nursery
Salt Lake City 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Shakib: Immunization against influenza in the first six months of life is ineffective  due to an immature immune response. Passive protection via maternal immunization offers an alternative but only a few studies have evaluated the efficacy of this immunization strategy. We found that in infants born to women immunized against influenza during pregnancy, the risk of laboratory-confirmed influenza and influenza-related hospitalization were reduced by 70% and 81% in their first 6 months of life, respectively.This large study provides more evidence that when women are immunized against influenza during pregnancy, their infants are much less likely to be diagnosed with influenza in their first 6 months.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Dr. Shakib: Although influenza immunization uptake increased to a high of 52% in the 2013-14 influenza season, immunization against influenza in pregnancy remains suboptimal and should be a public health priority.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Shakib: The safety and efficacy of influenza vaccine in protecting both pregnant women and infants are well-established. Future studies could and should focus on potential ways to improve the benefits of maternal vaccination in protecting young infants against influenza, such as breast feeding following maternal influenza immunization. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Shakib: I would recommend that all clinicians who provide obstetric care should both strongly advise their patients to receive the influenza vaccine and ensure they have the resources in their practices to provide influenza vaccine to all of their patients.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

H. Shakib, K. Korgenski, A. P. Presson, X. Sheng, M. W. Varner, A. T. Pavia, C. L. Byington. Influenza in Infants Born to Women Vaccinated During Pregnancy. PEDIATRICS, 2016; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2015-2360

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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