Flu vaccine reduces risk of flu hospitalization among pregnant women

Obtaining an influenza vaccination lowered a pregnant woman's risk of influenza-related hospitalization by about 40%, on average, researchers report. The information, derived from a multi-county, CDC-coauthored study, is published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Obtaining an influenza vaccination lowered a pregnant woman's risk of influenza-related hospitalization by about 40%, on average, researchers report. The information, derived from a multi-county, CDC-coauthored study, is published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. According to CDC, this is the first report to demonstrate that vaccination can protect pregnant women against hospitalization due to influenza. "Expecting mothers face a number of threats to their health and the health of their baby during pregnancy, and getting the flu is one of them," explains Allison Naleway, PhD, a study coauthor from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. "This study's findings underscore the fact that there is a simple, yet impactful way to reduce the possibility of complications from flu during pregnancy: get a flu shot." For the study, CDC teamed up with public health agencies and health care systems in the United States as well as Australia, Canada, and Israel through the Pregnancy Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network. The sites retrospectively assessed medical records for more than 2 million women who were pregnant from 2010 through 2016 to identify those who were hospitalized with lab-confirmed influenza. The study also noted that more than 80% of pregnancies overlapped with the influenza season, highlighting the likelihood that pregnant women will be exposed to influenza at some point during their pregnancy; the influenza vaccine was equally protective for women with underlying medical conditions; and it was equally protective for women during all three trimesters of pregnancy.