Pregnant women who received H1N1 vaccine less likely to have premature birth

A new study reported that pregnant women who were given the H1N1 influenza vaccine in 2009 were less likely to give birth prematurely.

Researchers from the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and health insurer Kaiser Permanente of Georgia and the Mid-Atlantic States evaluated the H1N1 vaccine's effectiveness in pregnant women and their children during the 2009 pandemic, according to

The team compared the outcomes of births among pregnant women who received the vaccine to those who were not vaccinated. They used anonymous medical records for more than 3,000 women who were enrolled in Kaiser Permanente managed care organizations for one year beginning in April 2009.

The study's overall findings revealed that vaccinated mothers were less likely to give birth prematurely and that their children had, on average, higher weights at birth than unvaccinated mothers.

Influenza infection is considered to be dangerous for pregnant women and increases the chances of hospitalization for flu-related complications and death. During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, pregnant women in the United States had higher rates of influenza-related morbidity and mortality when compared to the general population,

The influenza vaccine has been shown to transfer protection from mother to fetus, and then to infant after birth.