Influenza vaccination in pregnancy: practices among obstetrician-gynecologists--United States, 2003-04 influenza season

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2005 Oct 21;54(41):1050-2.


Women infected with influenza virus during pregnancy are at increased risk for serious complications and hospitalization. During 1997-2003, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) included healthy pregnant women who would be in their second or third trimester of pregnancy during the influenza season among those persons at high risk for whom influenza vaccination was indicated. Also included were women at any stage of pregnancy with certain chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes mellitus, or heart disease. ACIP emphasized that the influenza vaccine was safe for breastfeeding mothers and their infants and that household contacts of children aged <2 years also should be vaccinated. However, despite these recommendations, only 13% of pregnant women received influenza vaccination in 2003. To assess understanding of the ACIP recommendations among obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYNs), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), with support from CDC, surveyed a national sample of OB/GYNs in May 2004. This report describes the results of that survey, which indicated that 52% of OB/GYNs surveyed would recommend influenza vaccination for a healthy woman in the first trimester of pregnancy, 95% would recommend the vaccine for a healthy pregnant woman beyond the first trimester, and 63% would recommend vaccination for a woman with a medical condition in the first trimester. However, of the physicians who would recommend vaccination, 36%-38% reported that influenza vaccination was not offered in their practices. Increased efforts are needed to improve vaccine availability and to educate OB/GYNs regarding the updated ACIP recommendations on the use of influenza vaccine in the first trimester for both healthy pregnant women and pregnant women at high risk.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gynecology*
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control
  • Obstetrics*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Seasons
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*


  • Influenza Vaccines