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Influenza vaccine effectiveness in preventing influenza-associated hospitalizations during pregnancy: a multi-country retrospective test negative design study, 2010-2016


Background — To date, no study has examined influenza vaccine effectiveness (IVE) against laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations during pregnancy.

Methods — The Pregnancy Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network (PREVENT) consisted of public health or healthcare systems with integrated laboratory, medical, and vaccination records in Australia, Canada (Alberta and Ontario), Israel, and the United States (California, Oregon, and Washington). Sites identified pregnant women aged 18 through 50 years whose pregnancies overlapped with local influenza seasons from 2010 through 2016. Administrative data were used to identify hospitalizations with acute respiratory or febrile illness (ARFI) and clinician-ordered real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) testing for influenza viruses. Overall IVE was estimated using the test-negative design and adjusting for site, season, season timing, and high-risk medical conditions.

Results — Among 19 450 hospitalizations with an ARFI discharge diagnosis (across 25 site-specific study seasons), only 1030 (6%) of the pregnant women were tested for influenza viruses by rRT-PCR. Approximately half of these women had pneumonia or influenza discharge diagnoses (54%). Influenza A or B virus infections were detected in 598/1030 (58%) of the ARFI hospitalizations with influenza testing. Across sites and seasons, 13% of rRT-PCR-confirmed influenza-positive pregnant women were vaccinated compared with 22% of influenza-negative pregnant women; the adjusted overall IVE was 40% (95% confidence interval = 12%–59%) against influenza-associated hospitalization during pregnancy.

Conclusion — Between 2010 and 2016, influenza vaccines offered moderate protection against laboratory-confirmed influenza- associated hospitalizations during pregnancy, which may further inform the benefits of maternal influenza vaccination programs.



Thompson MG, Kwong JC, Regan AK, Katz MA, Drews SJ, Azziz-Baumgartner E, Klein NP, Chung H, Effler PV, Feldman BS, Simmonds K, Wyant BE, Dawood FS, Jackson ML, Fell DB, Levy A, Barda N, Svenson LW, Fink RV, Ball SW, Naleway A; PREVENT Workgroup. Clin Infect Dis. 2019; 68(9):1444-53. Epub 2018 Oct 11.

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