Pregnant women less likely to have premature infants after flu vaccine

Expectant mothers who received the influenza vaccine were less likely to have premature or smaller infants, according to a new study released in PLoS Medicine.

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reported, “Investigators “surveyed data from the Georgia Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, looking at 4,168 pregnant women whose infants were born during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 flu seasons.”

The shocker, at least to me, was that “they found that those who had received an influenza vaccine were 72% less likely to have a premature newborn, and that they were 69% less likely to have a baby that was smaller than it should have been, for the amount of time it had spent growing in the womb.”

We’ve known that flu shots should be given to pregnant woman, and can be very beneficial to the mother and child. We just never knew this part of the benefit package before.

So, it appears that when pregnant women receive an influenza vaccination they are providing protection that extends to their babies AFTER they are born, supporting the current recommendation for influenza vaccination among pregnant women.

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