Generally, physicians tend to avoid new medications and therapies for pregnant women. However, we are still interested in preventing serious diseases from affecting both the mother and her baby. Infl uenza infections can cause serious problems for both mother and infant. The mortality and morbidity that is caused by influenza occurs most often at the extremes of life, i.e. the very young and the very old. Infants are especially prone to the devastating effects of infl uenza and vaccination is not approved for infants younger than 6 months. A review of approximately 250,000 mother-baby pairs was conducted from 2005 to 2014.
During this period, vaccinations of pregnant women rose from 2% to 50%. An important observation was that no differences were found between the vaccinated women and the non-vaccinated women in terms of the pregnancy outcomes including prematurity and birth weight. The most important observation was in regards to the occurrence of infl uenza or infl uenza-like disease in the infants of vaccinated mothers. Infants of vaccinated mothers had signifi cantly lower rates of hospitalizations for infl uenza or influenza-like disease, and the rates of confi rmed infant influenza were signifi cantly lower. This large population study confi rms that infl uenza vaccination during pregnancy provides protection to infants too young to receive the vaccine. This study should also encourage infl uenza vaccination in pregnant women to protect the health of their babies. All women should talk to their ob/gyn about infl uenza vaccination, especially prior to and during the fl u season