A Way to Protect Babies from the Flu

Flu vaccine in pregnant women may pass protection to newborns

(RxWiki News) For babies younger than 6 months, influenza vaccination has not been proven to be successful. But a new study found a different way to protect babies from the flu.

The study found that pregnant women who receive the flu vaccine might pass the protective benefits down to their newborns.

This new study looked at over 245,000 women and over 249,000 infants. The University of Utah Health Sciences researchers behind this study found that about 10 percent of pregnant women reported they received an influenza vaccine.

Infants born to women who said they received the influenza vaccine during pregnancy were found to have a 64 percent reduction in risk for infant influenza-like illness, 70 percent reduction in risk for laboratory-confirmed influenza and an 81 percent reduction in risk for influenza hospitalizations in the first six months

Although the number of women who reported receiving the flu vaccine was low, the number who received vaccination jumped up after the H1N1 pandemic, these researchers found.

Direct vaccination in infants younger than 6 months of age is not an option because these babies are not old enough for their bodies to develop the immune response needed.

Speak to your obstetrician if you have any questions about any of the recommended vaccines during pregnancy.

The study was published recently in Pediatrics. The National Institutes of Health provided funding. The authors disclosed no conflicts of interest.

Review Date: 
May 5, 2016