Influenza vaccination rates during pregnancy fall short of ACIP goals
Although seasonal influenza vaccination rates more than doubled among pregnant women between the 2005-2006 and 2013-2014 seasons, coverage still falls short of the 2016 Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices recommendation, according to a recent MMWR.
“Seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended for all pregnant women because of their increased risk for influenza-associated complications,” Stephen Kerr, MPH, from Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, and colleagues wrote. “Receipt of influenza vaccine by women during pregnancy has been shown to protect their infants for several months after birth.”
Kerr and colleagues used recorded data from the Birth Defects Study on vaccinations received by pregnant women to analyze secular trends in seasonal coverage from 2005 through 2014. Nurses associated with the study conducted phone interviews of 5,318 women within 6 months of delivery to determine both the date and setting of their vaccination.
Researchers observed that influenza vaccination coverage among pregnant women ranged from 17% to 20% from the 2005-2006 through 2008-2009 seasons. During the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic season, coverage increased to 33%, but declined in the next two seasons (31% and 27%, respectively). Coverage then increased to 35% during the 2012-2013 influenza season and to 41% during the 2013-2014 season. Seventy-nine percent of influenza vaccine administration occurred in physicians’ offices or clinics.
“Although the trend is encouraging, coverage still falls far short of the 2016 ACIP recommendation that all pregnant women who are or might become pregnant during flu season be vaccinated,” Kerr and colleagues wrote. “Incorporating counseling and administration for seasonal influenza vaccine into the routine management of pregnant women can offer the best option for increasing influenza vaccination coverage among the vulnerable group to prevent influenza-associated morbidity and mortality among pregnant women and their infants.” – by Savannah Demko
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.