Conference Coverage

Encourage influenza vaccination in pregnant women



– Influenza season is upon us, and Helen Chu, MD, MPH, is here at ID Week 2018 to talk vaccines, especially for pregnant women.

They are at greater risk for more severe illness, and influenza can lead to adverse outcomes in infants. The good news is that recent studies have shown that flu vaccines are safe and effective in pregnant women.

The bad news is that many women are hesitant to be vaccinated out of concerns over safety, in a trend that reflects broader societal worries over vaccination, said Dr. Chu, of the University of Washington, Seattle. In a video interview at an annual scientific meeting on infectious diseases, Dr. Chu advised steps to ensure that pregnant women are aware of the safety and efficacy of flu vaccines, and the benefits to the infant who acquires immunity through the mother. It’s also a good idea to have vaccine on hand to be able to offer it immediately during an office visit.

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