Women who are pregnant should get vaccinated with both the influenza and Tdap vaccines to protect themselves and their babies.
“Vaccination of pregnant women with influenza vaccine and tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) can decrease the risk for influenza and pertussis among pregnant women and their infants.”Influenza and Tdap Vaccination Coverage Among Pregnant Women — United States, April 2020
These are not new recommendations.
Influenza and Tdap Vaccination for Pregnant Women
Although some vaccines are contraindicated when you are pregnant, it has long been recommended that all pregnant women get:
- a flu vaccine – any trimester – a recommendation that has been evolving since 1983
- the Tdap vaccine during each and every pregnancy between 27 and 36 weeks of gestation – a recommendation that been evolving since 2011
Still, many pregnant women are still not getting vaccinated like they should, leaving themselves and their babies at risk for the flu and pertussis.
Influenza and Tdap Vaccination Rates Among Pregnant Women
While influenza and Tdap vaccination rates in pregnant women are rising, they are still suboptimal, as we can see in a new report from the CDC, Influenza and Tdap Vaccination Coverage Among Pregnant Women — United States, April 2020.
“Among 1,841 survey respondents who were pregnant anytime during October 2019–January 2020, 61.2% reported receiving influenza vaccine before or during their pregnancy, an increase of 7.5 percentage points compared with the rate during the 2018–19 season. Among 463 respondents who had a live birth by their survey date, 56.6% reported receiving Tdap during pregnancy, similar to the 2018–19 season.”Influenza and Tdap Vaccination Coverage Among Pregnant Women — United States, April 2020
Just over half of pregnant moms are getting vaccinated.
And as we have seen in other recent surveys, guess who was most likely to get vaccinated and protected?
“Vaccination coverage was highest among women who reported receiving a provider offer or referral for vaccination (influenza = 75.2%; Tdap = 72.7%).”Influenza and Tdap Vaccination Coverage Among Pregnant Women — United States, April 2020
Not surprisingly, more pregnant women were vaccinated if their providers simply offered flu and Tdap vaccines!
Why is all of this important?
Even though it is known that neither the flu nor Tdap vaccines provide perfect protection, it is well known that they provide very good protection to pregnant mothers and to newborns and younger infants who are too young to get their own vaccines.
“In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received more than 41 000 reports of pertussis infection in the United States (US), with 18 deaths. Most of those who died were unvaccinated infants younger than 3 months of age.”Tdap vaccination during pregnancy to reduce pertussis infection in young infants
Protection that can keep them from dying from pertussis.
“Infants born to women reporting influenza immunization during pregnancy had risk reductions of 64% for ILI, 70% for laboratory-confirmed influenza, and 81% for influenza hospitalizations in their first 6 months.”Influenza in Infants Born to Women Vaccinated During Pregnancy
Protection that can keep them from dying from flu too.
“Pandemic influenza virus infection in pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of fetal death. Vaccination during pregnancy reduced the risk of an influenza diagnosis. Vaccination itself was not associated with increased fetal mortality and may have reduced the risk of influenza-related fetal death during the pandemic.”Risk of Fetal Death after Pandemic Influenza Virus Infection or Vaccination
So don’t skip your flu or Tdap vaccine, especially if you are pregnant.
These vaccines in pregnancy are safe, effective, and very necessary.
Did your health care provider recommend that you get a flu and Tdap vaccine when you were pregnant?
Did you get a flu and Tdap vaccine when you were pregnant?
Do you now understand why you should?
More on Influenza and Tdap Vaccines for Pregnant Women
- How Does a Mother’s Flu Shot Protect a Newborn Baby?
- Vaccines in Pregnancy
- Is Measles Dangerous If You Are Pregnant?
- Strategies for Increasing Childhood Vaccination Rates
- Flu Shots During Pregnancy Lead to Healthier Mothers and Babies
- What vaccinations are recommended during pregnancy?
- MMWR – Influenza and Tdap Vaccination Coverage Among Pregnant Women — United States, April 2020
- MMWR – Vital Signs: Burden and Prevention of Influenza and Pertussis Among Pregnant Women and Infants – United States
- ACOG – The Flu Vaccine and Pregnancy
- IAC – Standing Orders for Administering Tdap to Pregnant Women
- IAC – Vaccinations for Pregnant Women
- IAC – Vaccinations and Pregnancy
- Flu Vaccination for Pregnant & Postpartum Women
- Pregnancy and influenza – new data shows death rate of 25% for those who get critically ill
- MMWR – Updated Recommendations for Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid, and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine (Tdap) in Pregnant Women — Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2012
- Tdap vaccination during pregnancy to reduce pertussis infection in young infants
- Effects of influenza on pregnant women and infants
- Risk of Fetal Death after Pandemic Influenza Virus Infection or Vaccination
- Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in Preventing Influenza-associated Hospitalizations During Pregnancy: A Multi-country Retrospective Test Negative Design Study, 2010-2016
- Influenza Vaccination of Pregnant Women and Protection of Their Infants
- Effectiveness of seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine for preventing influenza virus illness among pregnant women: a population-based case-control study during the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 influenza seasons
- Effectiveness of maternal influenza immunization in mothers and infants
- A systematic review and meta-analysis of fetal outcomes following the administration of influenza A/H1N1 vaccination during pregnancy
- Association of influenza vaccination on decreased stillbirth rate
- Influenza in Infants Born to Women Vaccinated During Pregnancy
- Influenza (flu) and pregnancy
- Flu shots and miscarriage: Let’s clear up misunderstandings