Study Finds No Link Between First Trimester Influenza Vaccination and Major Structural Birth Defects

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Elyse Olshen Kharbanda, MD MPH HealthPartners Institute Minneapolis, MN

Dr. Kharbanda

Dr. Elyse Olshen Kharbanda, MD MPH

HealthPartners Institute
Minneapolis, MN

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

Response: Pregnant women who get the flu are at an increased risk for severe illness. To protect pregnant women, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends women receive inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) during any trimester of their pregnancy.

This study used data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink to evaluate if there was an increased risk for selected major structural birth defects for infants whose mothers received IIV in the first trimester of pregnancy versus infants who were unexposed to IIV. Among over 425,000 live births, including 52,856 whose mothers received IIV during first trimester, we evaluated risks for major structural birth defects.  In this large observational study, we did not observe increased risks for major structural birth defects in offspring following first trimester maternal inactivated influenza vaccine exposure.

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

Response: Our findings should provide reassurance to pregnant women and their health care providers regarding influenza vaccination in early pregnancy.  This study supports the safety of current recommendations for IIV to be administered to women who may be pregnant, in any trimester, during influenza season.

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

Response: Even with our large population of women who received inactivated influenza vaccine in first trimester, our study was underpowered to detect risks for rare defects or those resulting in fetal demise.  Thus, we encourage continued safety monitoring. 

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

Response: This study was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Contract 200-2012-53526.  The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

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

Citation:

J Pediatr. 2017 May 24. pii: S0022-3476(17)30586-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.04.039. [Epub ahead of print]

First Trimester Influenza Vaccination and Risks for Major Structural Birth Defects in Offspring.

Kharbanda EO1, Vazquez-Benitez G2, Romitti PA3, Naleway AL4, Cheetham TC5, Lipkind HS6, Klein NP7, Lee G8, Jackson ML9, Hambidge SJ10, McCarthy N11, DeStefano F11, Nordin JD2; Vaccine Safety Datalink.

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

More Medical Research Interviews on MedicalResearch.com

 

 

 

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