News

30-04-2015

Pregnant women are consistently at the top of the list of most vulnerable to influenza and have the highest recommendation for influenza vaccination to protect both themselves and their unborn child. Last year in Western Australia, only 50% of pregnant women received the vaccination during their pregnancy.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the National Health and Medical Research  Centre , the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and the World Health Organization all strongly recommend routine vaccination of all pregnant women against influenza and recognize the benefit for women and newborns. Vaccination is recommended at any stage of pregnancy and as early as possible in the annual season.

 

  • Pregnant women are at an increased risk of both serious illness and complications following influenza infection compared to non pregnant women of similar age, this has now been well documented and was demonstrated during the swine-flu epidemic ( many pregnant women required significant periods in hospital following infection and admission to Intensive Care Units ).It is thought  to be due to changes in the woman's immune system associated with pregnancy.

 

 

  • The safety of the inactivated influenza vaccine during pregnancy has also been well established.  No study to date has shown any adverse effect from the vaccine given in pregnancy to the infant.

 

Maternal antibodies have been shown to transfer across the placenta and provide the infant with some protection against influenza for the first six months of life, providing further evidence of the benefit of vaccination during pregnancy.

 

The Western Australian Health Department recognizes the benefits of vaccination , which is available free and does not requires a prescription . 

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