December 23, 2014
Pregnant women and their infants are vulnerable to severe disease and secondary complications from influenza infection. For this reason, annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all pregnant women in the United States. Women frequently cite concerns about vaccine safety as a barrier to vaccination. This review describes the safety of inactivated influenza vaccination during pregnancy with a focus on maternal obstetric events, including hypertensive disorders, gestational diabetes, and chorioamnionitis. Included in the review are new findings from two studies which examined the safety of seasonal inactivated influenza vaccination during pregnancy. The first study enrolled 641 pregnant women during the 2010–2011 season and prospectively followed them until delivery or pregnancy termination. The second study enrolled 1616 pregnant women during the 2010–2011 influenza season, and followed the women and their infants for six months after delivery. No associations between inactivated influenza vaccination and gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia/eclampsia, or chorioamnionitis were observed in either cohort. When considered as a whole, these studies should further reassure women and clinicians that influenza vaccination during pregnancy is safe for mothers.