Influenza vaccination in pregnancy among a group of remote dwelling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers in the Northern Territory: The 1+1 Healthy Start to Life study

Lisa McHugh, Michael J. Binks, Yu Gao, Ross M. Andrews, Robert S. Ware, Tom Snelling, Sue Kildea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Remote-living Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience a higher burden of influenza infection during pregnancy than any other Australian women. Despite recommendations of inactivated influenza vaccination (IIV) in pregnancy, uptake and safety data are scarce for this population. We examined uptake of IIV in pregnancy and report adverse birth outcomes amongst a predominantly unvaccinated group of remote-living Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women from the Northern Territory (NT), using data from the 1+1 Healthy Start to Life study. Data were deterministically linked with the NT Immunisation Register to ascertain IIV exposure in pregnant women during 2003-2006 and 2009-2011 inclusive. Overall, IIV uptake in pregnancy was 3% (n=20/697 pregnancies); 0% (0/414) pre-influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and 7% (20/293) post-influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 (2009-2011). Vaccine uptake was poor in this cohort and it is undear at what stage this policy failure occurred. Women with known comorbidities and/or high risk factors were not targeted for vaccination. Much larger study participant numbers are required to validate between group comparisons but there was no clinically nor statistically significant difference in median gestational ages (38 weeks for both groups), mean infant birthweights (3,001 g unvaccinated vs 3,175 g IIV vaccinated), nor birth outcomes between the few women who received IIV in pregnancy and those who did not. There were no stillbirths in women who received an IIV in pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalCommunicable Diseases Intelligence
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2019

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