In a previous post, we discussed the two vaccines every pregnant woman should have and one of them was the flu vaccine. Routinely given to all expectant mothers in Britain, this pregnancy safe vaccine could prevent one in five premature births during flu outbreaks, a new study has suggested.
|Flu Vaccine in pregnancy|
In the study that was published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, researchers in the US looked at the births of 5,000 women during a high-flu-risk period. Out of those, 43% has received the vaccine.
The results showed that those vaccinated were 44% less likely to have preterm births than their un-vaccinated counterparts.
Pregnancy increases the vulnerability and complications of a flu infection particularly in the later stages, making the vaccine very important. Bronchitis, meningitis and the inflammation of the brain are just some of the complications.
While before it was common knowlegdge that the vaccine gives protection against flu to the mother and the baby for the first 6 months after birth, it is now clear that reducing the risk of pre-term births is an added bonus. These findings are hugely significant given how susceptible premature babies are to infections. And as much as it is difficult to pinpoint the reason why the vaccine reduces pre-term births, one theory has suggested that flu infections trigger inflammation in the body that can lead to early labor.
Until we see each other again,