Category: Maternal Immunisation

09 May 2016

Benefits of receiving Influenza vaccination during pregnancy

According to new research conducted by Annette Regan from the school of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Western Australia in Perth, vaccinating pregnant woman against seasonal influenza could substantially reduce their risk of suffering a stillbirth when compared to mothers who do not receive the vaccine.

If an expectant mother contracts influenza during her pregnancy her risk of several complications including pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome increases; the foetus could also be vulnerable to adverse neonatal outcomes such as preterm birth and stillbirth.

According to Regan “Clinicians treating pregnant women should be promoting seasonal influenza vaccine every year for every pregnancy. Pregnant women trust and rely on their healthcare providers to advise them during their pregnancy. In fact, 80% of pregnant women say they would get vaccinated had their health care provider recommended it to them. It is therefore critical for all antenatal health professionals to recommend seasonal influenza vaccine to their pregnant patients.”

During their research Regan and her team found that the mothers who were vaccinated, were 51% less likely to suffer a stillbirth compared to unvaccinated mothers. The greatest relative risk reduction was in noted in births which directly followed the influenza season.

The research supported the safety of maternal influenza vaccination and noted no increase in the risk of stillbirth in vaccinated women; additional research is indicated however to confirm the potential reduction in stillbirth observed in the cohort study.

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