Effectiveness of maternal influenza vaccination during pregnancy against laboratory-confirmed seasonal influenza among infants under 6 months of age in Ontario, Canada

J Infect Dis. 2023 Nov 29:jiad539. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiad539. Online ahead of print.


Background: Randomized trials conducted in low- and middle-income settings demonstrated efficacy of influenza vaccination during pregnancy against influenza infection among infants <6 months of age. However, vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates from settings with different population characteristics and influenza seasonality remain limited.

Methods: We conducted a test-negative study in Ontario, Canada. All influenza virus tests among infants <6 months from 2010-2019 were identified and linked with health databases to ascertain information on maternal-infant dyads. VE was estimated from the odds ratio for influenza vaccination during pregnancy among cases versus controls, computed using logistic regression with adjustment for potential confounders.

Results: Among 23,806 infants tested for influenza, 1,783 (7.5%) were positive and 1,708 (7.2%) were born to mothers vaccinated against influenza during pregnancy. VE against laboratory-confirmed infant influenza infection was 64% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 50%-74%). VE was similar by trimester of vaccination (1st/2nd: 66%, 40%-80%; 3rd: 63%, 46%-74%), infant age at testing (0-<2 months: 63%, 46%-75%; 2-<6 months: 64%, 36%-79%), and gestational age at birth (≥37 weeks: 64%, 50%-75%; < 37 weeks: 61%, 4%-86%). VE against influenza hospitalization was 67% (95%CI: 50%-78%).

Conclusions: Influenza vaccination during pregnancy offers effective protection to infants <6 months, for whom vaccines are not currently available.

Keywords: effectiveness; influenza; pregnancy; vaccination.