2020 Influenza Immunisation Programme is now available for pregnant women
Influenza immunisation is highly recommended for this high risk group, particularly in light of COVID-19
All pregnant women are eligible to receive the Influenza immunisation as soon as vaccines are available as recommended by the MOH.
Pregnant women and their babies remain at greatest risk of serious illness from influenza.
The vaccine is free - can be given at any time during pregnancy and post-partum.
Influenza – Recommend vaccine to all pregnant women regardless of gestation – High risk of disease and serious complications (SAMM study) – Pregnant women at increased risk of morbidity and death, even those with no co-morbidities.
Cited in above study: - Seasonal influenza vaccination during pregnancy reduces the risk of an influenza diagnosis by 50% - Also confers effective protection up to the age of 6 months for newborns whose mother was vaccinated during pregnancy with a reduction of 63% in influenza cases and of 29% in episodes of febrile respiratory illness.
The above study found: Pregnant women in New Zealand with influenza were hospitalised at a rate three to five times higher than non-pregnant women of reproductive age with the virus - Pregnant Māori women had higher rates of flu hospitalisation compared to Pākehā women, as well as compared to non-pregnant Māori women women, as well as compared to non-pregnant Māori women.
https://www.bmj.com/content/366/bmj.l4454.full (attached - BMJ July 2019) Study concludes: “Net result is a resounding lack of evidence of harm from flu vaccination in pregnancy… vaccination of pregnancy women averts a small but serious risk of death and morbidity for the mother and a chance of death for the fetus. A fear of harm to the child is ungrounded – children have no remotely comparable risk”.