HELPING BABIES AVOID FLU
ANCHOR LEAD: VACCINATING PREGNANT WOMEN HELPS THEIR BABIES AVOID FLU INFECTION, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Vaccinating pregnant women against influenza not only protects them against infection, it also helps their infants in the first six months of life, before their own immune response is fully functional. That’s the conclusion of a Johns Hopkins study led by Mark Steinhoff.
STEINHOFF: We looked at the effect of giving pregnant women flu vaccine on illness in the mothers and in the young infants. This was the first randomized controlled trial to look at this question. Even though its been US policy since 1997 to give pregnant women flu vaccine. What we showed was that giving pregnant women flu vaccine reduces proven influenza illness in the infants in the first six months of life by 63%. :29
Influenza in young infants is a major reason for their hospitalization and the need for use of a respirator. Avoiding that possibility by vaccinating pregnant women has now been proven effective. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.