Re­as­sur­ing Find­ings for Moth­ers Who Have In­fluenza Vac­cine While Preg­nant

Wellness Update - - Contents -


Re­searchers from the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Diego School of Medicine and Bos­ton Univer­sity, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Amer­i­can Academy of Al­lergy Asthma and Im­munol­ogy (AAAAI), have found ev­i­dence of the H1N1 in­fluenza vac­cine’s safety dur­ing preg­nancy. The na­tional study, which was launched shortly af­ter the H1N1 in­fluenza out­break of 2009, is sum­ma­rized in two com­pan­ion pa­pers pub­lished online on Septem­ber 19 in the jour­nal Vac­cine. “The over­all re­sults of the study were quite re­as­sur­ing about the safety of the flu vac­cine for­mu­la­tions that con­tained the pan­demic H1N1 strain,” said Christina Cham­bers, PhD, MPH, Di­rec­tor of the non-profit Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Ter­a­tol­ogy In­for­ma­tion Spe­cial­ists (OTIS) Re­search Center and lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor of UC San Diego’s team. “We be­lieve our study’s re­sults can help women and their doc­tors be­come bet­ter in­formed about the ben­e­fits and risks of flu vac­ci­na­tion dur­ing preg­nancy.” De­spite fed­eral health au­thor­i­ties’ rec­om­men­da­tions that all preg­nant women be vac­ci­nated for in­fluenza, it is es­ti­mated that less than 50 per­cent of women fol­low this ad­vice, largely be­cause they are con­cerned about the ef­fects flu vac­cines might have on the de­vel­op­ing baby. Since it was an­tic­i­pated that the 2009 H1N1 in­fluenza sea­son would be se­vere, a na­tional study was launched by the Vac­cines and Med­i­ca­tions in Preg­nancy Sur­veil­lance Sys­tem (VAMPSS), a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween UC San Diego School of Medicine and Bos­ton Univer­sity and co­or­di­nated by AAAAI to gather data on the safety of this vac­cine dur­ing preg­nancy. The team from UC San Diego fol­lowed 1,032 preg­nant women across the United States and Canada who ei­ther chose to re­ceive an in­fluenza vac­cine or were not vac­ci­nated dur­ing one of the three sea­sons from 2009-2012. Women were re­cruited through MotherToBaby, a ser­vice of OTIS. Cham­ber’s team found that women vac­ci­nated dur­ing preg­nancy were no more likely to ex­pe­ri­ence mis­car­riage, have a baby born with a birth de­fect or have a baby born smaller than nor­mal com­pared with those who did not re­ceive a vac­ci­na­tion. Al­though vac­ci­nated women were more likely to have their ba­bies be­fore term, on av­er­age th­ese in­fants were de­liv­ered three days ear­lier than those born to un­vac­ci­nated women.

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