SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Study shows no evidence between influenza vaccination and health risks for pregnant women

A study conducted by the Vaccines and Medications in Pregnancy Surveillance System found that administration of the H1N1 influenza vaccine showed no evidence of an increase in health risks for a mother or unborn child.

VAMPSS is run by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology at Boston University and the University of California - San Diego.

Researchers followed pregnant women in the United States and Canada who were both vaccinated and unvaccinated against the influenza virus between 2009 and 2012 to observe the risk of vaccination to either mother or unborn child during pregnancy.

"Most vaccines and medications cannot be tested in pregnant women using clinical trials, so VAMPSS uses two data collection approaches to fill a critical gap in evaluating their safety," lead researchers Michael Schatz said. "The papers in Vaccine highlight the ability of VAMPSS to utilize complementary research approaches to provide comprehensive safety information regarding the use of vaccines and medication in pregnancy."

The UC Sand Diego research team followed 1,032 pregnant women across the U.S. and Canada. The study showed no increase in risk of miscarriage, birth defects or a baby born smaller than normal with vaccination.

Boston University interviewed 4,191 mothers, 41 of whom had given birth to a child with a birth defect, and no link was found between the birth defects and vaccination.

"The overall results of the study were quite reassuring about the safety of the flu vaccine formulations that contained the pandemic H1N1 strain given in these three seasons," lead investigator of UC San Diego's team Christina Chambers said. "We believe our study's results can help women and their doctors become better informed about the benefits and risks of vaccination during pregnancy."