Fighting flu: two for one


There is no flu treatment for newborns or infants under six months. A new study shows that when pregnant mothers are vaccinated the benefit of the vaccination is passed on to the unborn baby.

A three year study by the Yale School of Medicine has found that vaccinating pregnant women for the flu is 90% effective in preventing their infants from acquiring the illness during their first six months. Thew study is published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Influenza hits pregnant women and babies hard. It is a major cause of respiratory disease in expectant mothers and often leads to hospitalization of newborns. There is currently no vaccine available for babies under six months. Preventive strategies are all that exist, including the vaccination of those around newborns and young children.

Marietta Vazquez, MD, was senior author of the study. She said, "When we compared vaccination rates during pregnancy in the study, we found that in the group of infants who didn't have influenza, far more mothers received the influenza vaccine. In the group of infants studied, giving the vaccine to a woman during pregnancy was 91.5 percent effective in preventing hospitalization due to influenza."

They recommend the vaccine as an effective strategy for protecting newborn babies and also point out the cost effectiveness of vaccinating one for the protection of two.

Source: Clinical Infectious Diseases, ScienceDaily


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