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Uptake of influenza vaccine by pregnant women: a cross-sectional survey

Pregnant women with influenza have an increased risk of complications, including hospitalisation, intensive care unit admission, preterm delivery and, in severe cases, death.13

A growing body of evidence supports the safety and effectiveness of inactivated influenza vaccine during pregnancy. A recent review concluded that influenza vaccine is safe to administer during any trimester.4 Two recent randomised controlled trials found that babies born to vaccinated mothers had a reduced risk of contracting influenza in the first 6 months of life.5,6 The 9th edition of the Australian immunisation handbook recommends influenza vaccine for all pregnant women who will be in their second or third trimester during influenza season, although it can be given in any trimester.7 The vaccine is free for all pregnant women.

Uptake of influenza vaccine by pregnant women in Australia is low, with estimates ranging from about 7% to 40%.

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