Family member flu vaccination may be effective in protecting newborns

October 28, 2008

Vaccinating new mothers and other family members against influenza before newborns go home may be an effective way to protect infants against the virus, according to Duke Children's Hospital researchers.

Vaccinating new mothers and other family members against influenza before newborns go home may be an effective way to protect infants against the virus, according to Duke Children's Hospital researchers.

For the study, which was conducted from October 2007 to February 2008 at Durham Regional Hospital, new mothers received educational material, and a flu vaccine clinic facilitated vaccinations for other family members around the time of a newborn's birth. Duke University Medical Center served as the comparison site.

The researchers reported that vaccination coverage of new mothers and other family members increased 16% at Durham Regional Hospital compared to the Duke University Medical Center. In addition, while about 40% of pregnant women had received vaccinations, an additional 45% of new mothers who had not received a flu shot during pregnancy chose to be vaccinated. A significant number of new fathers and siblings received the flu shot when compared to the comparison site, the researchers stated.