Impact of Timing of Influenza Vaccination in Pregnancy on Transplacental Antibody Transfer, Influenza Incidence, and Birth Outcomes: A Randomized Trial in Rural Nepal.

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Journal Article

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Clinical Infectious Diseases





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Background: Maternal influenza vaccination protects mothers and their infants in low resource settings, but little is known about whether the protection varies by gestational age at vaccination.

Methods: Women of childbearing age in rural southern Nepal were surveilled for pregnancy, consented and randomized to receive maternal influenza vaccination or placebo, with randomization stratified on gestational age (17-25 or 26-34 weeks). Enrollment occurred in 2 annual cohorts, and vaccinations occurred from April 2011 through September 2013.

Results: In sum, 3693 women consented and enrolled, resulting in 3646 live births. Although cord blood antibody titers and the rise in maternal titers were generally greater when women were vaccinated later in pregnancy, this was not statistically significant. The incidence risk ratio (IRR) for maternal influenza in pregnancy through 6 months postpartum was 0.62 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.35, 1.10) for those vaccinated 17-25 weeks gestation and 0.89 (95% CI: 0.39, 2.00) for those 26-34 weeks. Infant influenza IRRs were 0.73 (95% CI: 0.51, 1.05) for those whose mothers were vaccinated earlier in gestation, and 0.63 (95% CI: 0.37, 1.08) for those later. Relative risks (RR) for low birthweight were 0.83 (95% CI: 0.71, 0.98) and 0.90 (95% CI: 0.72, 1.12) for 17-25 and 26-34 weeks gestation at vaccination, respectively. IRRs did not differ for small-for-gestational age or preterm. No RRs were statistically different by timing of vaccine receipt.

Conclusions: Vaccine efficacy did not vary by gestational age at vaccination, making maternal influenza immunization programs easier to implement where women present for care late in pregnancy.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT01034254.


Reproduced with permission of Oxford University Press. Clinical Infectious Diseases

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