Vaccine safety in pregnancy and lactation
Several available vaccines have the potential to reduce maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality from preventable diseases. Thus, optimal protection against preventable diseases that pose a higher risk for disease and death in pregnant woman and their offspring should be balanced against the risk of malformations, abortions, stillbirth or other adverse outcomes that theoretically could affect the fetus as a result of vaccination in pregnancy. Maternal antibodies induced by vaccination during pregnancy are actively transferred to the fetus and confer passive protection in the infant after birth. GACVS recently established a subgroup to review the safety profile of several important vaccines for pregnant and lactating women. In addition to the review of available data on influenza vaccines described below, the committee also reviewed the accumulated safety data for rubella-containing vaccines when inadvertently administered to pregnant women to complement the review conducted in June 2008. GACVS concludes that the data remain very reassuring for the use of vaccines during pregnancy, with no evidence of adverse fetal outcomes identified. Protection of mothers at risk and their young infants will be critical to attain the reduction of morbidity and mortality due to infections that affect many populations around the world.