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


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.



Fell DB, Russell M, Fung SG, Swayze S, Chung H, Buchan SA, Roda W, Smolarchuk C, Wilson K, Crowcroft N, Schwartz KL, Gubbay JB, McGeer A, Smieja M, Richardson DC, Katz K, Zahariadis G, Campigotto A, Mubareka S, McNally D, Karnauchow T, Zelyas N, Svenson LW, Kwong JC. J Infect Dis. 2023; Nov 29 [Epub ahead of print].

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