Maternal influenza immunization is an essential component of prenatal care for women and their newborns, therefore it is imperative that obstetricians-gynecologists and other healthcare providers continue efforts to improve the rate of influenza vaccination among pregnant women, according to recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The committee opinion included recent data on the safety and efficacy of influenza vaccination during pregnancy and recommendations for treatment and postexposure chemoprophylaxis. Among the recommendations:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and ACOG recommend that all adults receive an annual influenza vaccine and that women who are or will be pregnant during influenza (flu) season receive an inactivated influenza vaccine as soon as it is available. Any of the licensed, recommended, age-appropriate, inactivated influenza vaccines can be given safely during any trimester.
- Maternal influenza immunization is an essential component of prenatal care for women and their newborns. Obstetrician–gynecologists and other health care providers should counsel pregnant women about the safety and benefits of influenza immunization for themselves and their fetuses and advocate for the benefits of passive immunity from maternal immunization for their newborns.
- Obstetrician–gynecologists are encouraged to stock and administer the influenza vaccine to their pregnant patients in their offices, and should get the influenza vaccine themselves every season.
- Patients with flu-like illness should be treated with antiviral medications presumptively regardless of vaccination status.
- Because of the high potential for morbidity, the CDC and ACOG recommend that postexposure antiviral chemoprophylaxis (75 mg of oseltamivir once daily for 10 days) be considered for pregnant women and women who are up to 2 weeks postpartum (including pregnancy loss) who have had close contact with someone likely to have been infected with influenza.
Influenza vaccination during pregnancy. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 732. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol. 2018;131:e109–14.
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