Vaccinating pregnant women against influenza is found to be effective in preventing their newborns from influenza, says a study by Yale School of Medicine.
First author Isaac Benowitz, senior author Marietta Vazquez and their colleagues examined the effectiveness of flu vaccine during pregnancy in preventing hospitalization in infants.
The study enrolled infants hospitalized at Yale-New Haven Hospital due to influenza and a similar group of infants without influenza. The researchers then compared whether each infant's mother had gotten the flu vaccine during pregnancy.
"When we compared vaccination rates during pregnancy in the study, we found that in the group of infants who didn't have influenza, far more mothers received the influenza vaccine," said Vazquez, at the Yale School of Medicine.
"In the group of infants studied, giving the vaccine to a woman during pregnancy was 91.5 percent effective in preventing hospitalization due to influenza," he said.
Vazquez said that the study's findings provide an effective strategy for protecting infants under six months old, for whom no vaccine is available. She also points out that vaccination during pregnancy is cost-effective, as one vaccine protects two individuals.
The study was published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases.