|February 2013 · Vol. 25, No. 2
In 2009 pandemic, flu vaccine
did not increase the risk
of fetal death
Data from Norway contradict fears that vaccination in pregnancy increases the risk of fetal mortality
The vaccination of pregnant women against the H1N1 influenza virus did not increase the risk of fetal death in 2009, according to a new study from Norway.1 Anecdotal reports of fetal death following administration of the vaccine to pregnant women had raised concerns about the safety of the vaccine in pregnancy.
In the new study, Haberg and colleagues linked Norwegian national registries and data on medical consultations to calculate vaccination status and birth outcomes before, during, and after the 2009 pandemic. Vaccination during pregnancy significantly lowered the risk of influenza (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.25–0.34). The risk of fetal mortality also decreased among vaccinated women, although the decrease was not significant (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.66–1.17). However, among unvaccinated women with influenza, the risk of fetal death increased significantly (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.07–3.41).
Haberg and colleagues concluded that vaccination in pregnancy did not increase and may have lowered the rate of flu-related fetal death during the H1N1 pandemic.
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1. Haberg SE, Trogstad L, Gunnes N, et al. Risk of fetal death after pandemic influenza virus infection or vaccination. N Engl J Med. 2013;368(4):333–340.
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