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.