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February 25, 2019

Optimizing the Timing of Vaccine Administration During Pregnancy

Author Affiliations
  • 1Experimental Medicine Program, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2British Columbia Children's Hospital Research Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 3Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program, Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee
JAMA. 2019;321(10):935-936. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.0703

Vaccination during pregnancy is an important strategy to protect infants from life-threatening infections during the first months of life. It increases the transplacental transfer of maternal vaccine-specific antibodies to newborns with the potential to protect infants from vaccine-preventable diseases until they are no longer at increased risk for infection or are protected by their own active immunization. Pertussis and influenza vaccinations are recommended for pregnant women by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine is routinely administered during each pregnancy at 27 to 36 weeks’ gestation and provides pertussis-specific antibodies to the infant during the time window in infancy with heightened susceptibility to severe pertussis disease.1 Inactivated influenza vaccine is recommended for all pregnant women or those who might be pregnant during the influenza season anytime in pregnancy.2,3 Recent US data indicated that an estimated 54% of women received Tdap vaccine during pregnancy and an estimated 49% of women received inactivated influenza vaccine before or during pregnancy.3

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