IDC New York

IDC New York

November 20, 2016
3 min watch

Maternal immunization confers needed infant protection against influenza, pertussis

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

NEW YORK — C. Mary Healy, MD, of the infectious diseases section at Baylor College of Medicine, discusses the importance of maternal immunization as infants and pregnant women are uniquely susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases, such as influenza and pertussis.

“We know that immunizing pregnant is extremely safe and a very effective intervention that reduces rates of prematurity, increases birth weight and reduces both influenza-related hospitalizations in young infants and influenza-like illness by up to two-thirds,” Healy told Infectious Diseases in Children. “Similarly with the pertussis vaccine, immunizing pregnant women in the third trimester is extremely effective and extremely safe. We know that the vaccines work; when it was introduced in the UK, the vaccine was 91% effective at preventing pertussis among infants less than three months of age.”

According to Healy, the best method to ensure maternal immunization uptake is for providers to deliver a strong recommendation citing that 83% of surveyed women reported that they would take a vaccine during pregnancy if their provider recommended it.

“Maternal immunization is a win-win situation because it gives benefit to both mother and infant with a single intervention,” Healy said.

Healy, CM. “Coordinating global vaccination priorities and implementation.” Presented at: IDC NY; Nov. 19-20, 2016; New York.

Disclosure: Healy reported no relevant financial disclosures.