Influenza vaccines are recommended for pregnant women, but some expectant parents have questions about the severity of the disease, the effectiveness of the vaccine, and the safety of having the vaccine during pregnancy. This module will help you respond to those concerns respectfully and effectively.
The development of this content was led by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute for the MumBubVax website (now archived). Please note these video modules include logos and visuals that relate to the original website. Updated video modules will be developed in the future.
This eLearning module was originally designed primarily for use in general practice but the information and tips featured are applicable to various healthcare settings.
Influenza vaccines are recommended for pregnant women at any time in pregnancy.
- Many parents have the perception that influenza vaccination is not important.
- Pregnant women who catch influenza are more than twice as likely as other adults to develop a serious complication and be admitted to hospital.
- Babies, especially babies under the age of six months, are more at risk of developing serious complications from influenza and are more likely than other children to end up in hospital as a result.
- Deaths from influenza are highest among babies less than six months old, and most are previously healthy children.
- Many parents are concerned about the safety of vaccines in pregnancy.
- Very few women (around three in every 1,000) experience a reaction serious enough to attend a hospital emergency department. Follow-up with those women indicated that all symptoms resolved and that both mother and baby were healthy.
- Vaccination against influenza during pregnancy does not increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as stillbirth, premature delivery, or birth defects.
- People aren’t sure that the influenza vaccine will really protect their baby.
- Babies whose mothers had an influenza vaccine during pregnancy are more than 90 per cent less likely to be admitted to hospital with influenza in the first six months of life.