The association between influenza vaccine in pregnancy and adverse neonatal outcomes

J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2012 Aug;34(8):714-720. doi: 10.1016/S1701-2163(16)35336-1.


Objective: To determine whether neonatal outcomes differ between women vaccinated during pregnancy and those not vaccinated.

Methods: Self-reported history of receipt of influenza vaccination during pregnancy was collected from women at the time of admission for obstetrical delivery at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, beginning in April 2006. The cohort for this study included women who delivered a singleton infant prior to November 2009, reflecting the pre-pandemic H1N1 vaccination period. Neonatal outcomes were compared using logistic regression between vaccinated and non-vaccinated women.

Results: Overall, 1957 of 9781 women (20%) included in the cohort received influenza vaccine during their pregnancy. The adjusted odds ratio and 95% confidence interval for a small for gestational age infant (lowest 10th percentile birth weight for gestational age and sex) was 0.80 (95% CI 0.65 to 0.95) for vaccinated women relative to non-vaccinated women. The adjusted odds ratio for a low birth weight infant was 0.74 (95% CI 0.58 to 0.95). Rates of preterm birth and a composite indicator of adverse neonatal outcomes were lower among vaccinated women, but were not statistically significant. The effects of maternal vaccination on neonatal outcomes did not differ between high- and low-risk women.

Conclusion: As evidence continues to mount in support of improved neonatal outcomes associated with receiving influenza vaccination during pregnancy, enhanced public health measures are necessary to encourage pregnant women to receive the influenza vaccine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype
  • Influenza Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Nova Scotia
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology


  • Influenza Vaccines