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Influenza and Pregnancy

No Time for Complacency

Rasmussen, Sonja A., MD, MS; Jamieson, Denise J., MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003040
Prenatal Care: Current Commentary: PDF Only

The 2009 H1N1 pandemic demonstrated the severe effects of influenza illness on pregnant women. This experience stimulated efforts to improve influenza vaccination coverage among pregnant women and resulted in a substantial increase in coverage from less than 30% before 2009 to more than 50% a few years later. As memories fade of the pandemic year, influenza vaccination coverage has stagnated at around 50%, despite considerable information becoming available on strategies to improve vaccination coverage during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, through its expert work groups, Committee Opinions, and other outreach efforts, has provided strong support for clinicians to implement these strategies into their practices. Influenza vaccination is the best way to safeguard pregnant women and their infants up to 6 months of age from the adverse outcomes associated with influenza. It is imperative for the obstetric community to redouble its efforts to implement strategies proven to work to improve vaccination coverage and to identify and test new strategies to increase the number of pregnant women and their infants protected from influenza.

Influenza vaccination coverage during pregnancy has stagnated in recent years, suggesting a need for the obstetric community to focus on efforts to improve vaccination rates.

University of Florida College of Medicine & College of Public Health and Health Professions, Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, Gainesville, Florida; and Emory University, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Atlanta, Georgia.

Corresponding author: Sonja A. Rasmussen, MD, MS, Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, University of Florida College of Medicine and College of Public Health and Health Professions, Box 100296, 1600 SW Archer Road, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL 32610; email: skr9@ufl.edu.

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

Each author has confirmed compliance with the journal's requirements for authorship.

Peer review history is available at http://links.lww.com/AOG/B204.

Received August 21, 2018

Received in revised form October 22, 2018

Accepted October 25, 2018

© 2018 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.