Introduction: Vaccination in pregnancy has been shown to be effective for the prevention of influenza and pertussis in infants, providing support for similar strategies to prevent group B streptococcus and respiratory syncytial virus infections that represent a large burden in pediatric population.
Areas covered: This review addresses the principle of maternal immunization, efficacy and safety of both pertussis and seasonal influenza vaccines and presents available data on group B streptococcus and respiratory syncytial virus that are in development for administration during pregnancy.
Expert commentary: Complementary data is needed to help in understanding pertussis vaccine mechanisms, improving influenza vaccine efficacy and addressing the interference phenomenon which is when maternal antibodies interfere with the infant vaccine response. Several knowledge gaps need to be filled in group B streptococcus and respiratory syncytial virus vaccines research.
Keywords: Group B streptococcus; Influenza; immunization; newborn; pertussis; pregnancy; respiratory syncytial virus; vaccine; whooping cough.