SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Women who were vaccinated with inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine during pregnancy were at significantly lower risk preterm and small for gestational age births, researchers reported at IDWeek 2013.

“Maternal infections during pregnancy have been associated with adverse fetal and infant health outcomes, and vaccination against influenza is the most effective tool to prevent morbidity and mortality due to seasonal and pandemic influenza,” Saad Omer, PhD, MPH, MBBS, of the department of global health, epidemiology, and pediatrics, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA, said.

Omer and colleagues evaluated the association between receipt of the inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine on preterm and small for gestational age births.

Continue Reading

The cohort study used data on 8,393 live births in Georgia from January 1, 2005, through December 31, 2008 — the 4 most recent years available at study initiation — from the Georgia pregnancy risk assessment and monitoring system, hospital discharge data and birth certificate data.

Among all women, we found significant strong associations between maternal influenza vaccination and reduced odds of a preterm birth during the widespread influenza activity period (OR 0.39; 95% CI 0.18–0.83),” Omer noted.

In stratified models, influenza vaccination was also found to be protective against small for gestational age birth among women enrolled in the Women, Infant and Child program (OR 0.20; 95% CI 0.04–0.98) and black women (OR 0.15; 95% CI 0.02–0.94).

“Vaccination effects were stronger among women in higher risk categories,” Omer noted.

This article originally appeared on MPR