Saturday, July 30, 2016

Vaccinating mothers against flu can protect newborns

Public Release: 2-Jun-2016
New study finds that vaccinating mothers against flu can protect newborns
Finding could help to significantly reduce flu disease and mortality in poor developing world countries
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Each year, influenza causes between 250,000 and half a million deaths around the world. Pregnant women and young infants have a higher risk of complications related to influenza; these complications can easily lead to death. The problem is particularly severe in the developing world, where access to health care is often limited, and health centers and hospitals are scarce and under-resourced. Babies are particularly vulnerable because there is no influenza vaccine approved for infants younger than six months.

Now a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) in Baltimore, and the Center for Vaccine Development of Mali (CVD-Mali), has shown that immunizing mothers against flu can decrease by 70 percent the risk of their infants getting flu during the first four months after birth. This is the largest study to date to show that maternal vaccination against influenza is feasible and effective, even in one of the world's least developed countries. The study was published today in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.


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