Efficacy and safety of influenza vaccination during pregnancy: realizing the potential of maternal influenza immunization

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2021 Jun;20(6):649-660. doi: 10.1080/14760584.2021.1915138. Epub 2021 Apr 22.


Introduction: Pregnant women are at higher risk of severe complications following influenza infection compared to the general population. Influenza vaccination during pregnancy can offer direct protection to pregnant women and passive immunity to infants up to 6 months of age via maternal antibodies. Pregnant women are a high priority group for influenza immunization.Areas covered: This review provides an overview of the basis for recommending influenza vaccine to pregnant women, current immunization policies, the evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of maternal vaccination, and future research needed. We conducted a search of PubMed for articles describing the safety or efficacy of influenza vaccines administered during pregnancy. Published articles from inception to 17 November 2020 were reviewed.Expert opinion: Experimental and observational evidence support the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of influenza immunization during pregnancy. These data support the continued provision of inactivated influenza vaccine to pregnant women, as recommended by global immunization policies. To achieve success with maternal influenza immunization programs, further work is needed to inform policy development in low- and middle-income settings and implementation and promotion in high-income settings.

Keywords: Influenza; influenza vaccines; maternal vaccination; pregnancy; preventive health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Infant
  • Influenza Vaccines*
  • Influenza, Human*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / prevention & control
  • Vaccination / adverse effects
  • Vaccines, Inactivated


  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Inactivated