Flu Vaccine in Pregnancy Doesn't Affect Infant Health
(HealthDay News) — Vaccination with the H1N1 influenza vaccine Focetria during pregnancy has no adverse effects on infant health, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases, held from May 6–10 in Dublin.
Nicoline van der Maas, MD, from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, Netherlands, and colleagues examined possible adverse effects of the Focetria vaccine, given to Dutch women in the second and third trimester of pregnancy, on infant health. Data were collected for the first year of life for infant growth and development (1,739 infants) and for infant-related contacts with the general practitioner (GP; 1,671 infants).
The researchers found that infants of vaccinated and unvaccinated mothers did not differ in z-score for weight-for-age, length-for-age, and head circumference. There was also no difference in a developmental score based on age-specific assessments of fine and coarse motor function, speech, language, and psychosocial aspects. The number of infection-related GP-contacts was not different between the groups (incidence rate ratio, 1.07; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.91–1.28).
"These findings are reassuring for [the] public and professionals and may help the decision making process on maternal immunization in case of a new pandemic and possible other infectious diseases, which can be prevented by this strategy," van der Maas said in a statement.