How maternal influenza vaccines protect infants

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Samantha Olson, MPH, highlights how maternal vaccination protects infants from influenza.

Following positive results from a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, study investigator Samantha Olson, MPH, epidemiologist, Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, joined Contemporary Pediatrics to explain the importance of maternal influenza vaccination and its association with infant protection.

"We know that infants have a high risk of hospitalization for influenza and other serious influenza complications," Olson said. "Infants are not eligible to receive that flu vaccine until they're 6 months of age, so really, mothers getting vaccinated during pregnancy provide that protection for both themselves and their infants until they're eligible for vaccination."

MORE: Click here to watch Samantha Olson, MPH, explain her study with full results on maternal influenza vaccination and its respective association with influenza-related hospitalizations in infants.

Olson also reminds providers that influenza is still in season.

"We expect flu cases to remain elevated over the next couple of weeks," said Olson. "So it's not too late to get vaccinated for pregnant persons, for those considering becoming pregnant, or those who are postpartum. It's not too late to receive that flu vaccine to provide protection to both themselves and their babies."

"Also to the pediatricians, children 6 months and older are eligible for flu vaccination, so it is not too late for them to get vaccinated."

In Olson and colleagues' study published in JAMA Pediatrics, results revealed that maternal vaccination was associated with a reduction in influenza-associated hospitalizations and ED visits in infants, providing protection until vaccine eligibility for infants at 6 months of age.

This is the second video interview with Samantha Olson, MPH. Click here to view the first episode.

This interview was initially published by our sister publication Contemporary Pediatrics.

Reference:

Sahni LC, Olson SM, Halasa NB, et al. Maternal vaccine effectiveness against influenza-associated hospitalizations and emergency department visits in infants. JAMA Pediatr. 2024;178(2):176–184. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2023.5639

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