Influenza Vaccine

1. What is lnfluenza? What are its symptoms?

  • Influenza, commonly known as Flu, is caused by influenza virus27
  • lnfluenza is more than a bad cold. signs and symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, coughing, and sore throat27
  • lt can lead to complications, such as pneumonia. some complications can be life-threatening27

2. Who is at risk of developing complications from the lnfluefiza?

Certain people have an increased risk of developing lnfluenza complications. These include the following groups:27

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than 5 years
  • Adults 65 years and older
  • People who have illnesses or conditions like asthma, heart disease, or cancer

3. How does pregnancy increase the risk of lnfluenza complications?

  • Changes in the immune & cardiovascular system during pregnancy may increase the risk of
    complications due to lnfluenza27
  • Pregnant women are ~2 times higher risk of maternal hospitalization; ~4 times higher risk of mortality & ~10 times higher risk of hospitalization in comorbid conditions as compared to non-pregnant women8-30
  • Even newborns are at increased risk due to maternal Influenza. They are -2 times increased risk for low birth weight and -4 times increased risk of preterm birth as well as fetal death31-32

4. Should pregnant women be immunized against seasonal lnfluenza?

  • Yes, lnfluenza vaccination is an essential element of prenatal care because influenza can lead to serious illness, including a higher chance of developing pneumonia33
  • WHO identifies pregnant women as the Tcp priority group for lnfluenza vaccination. Other global health authorities like CDC &ACOG strongly recommend lnfluenza vaccination in pregnancy34-36
  • FOGSI recommends lnfluenza vaccination with strength of recommendation “A” and high quality of evidence “lll”37

5. How does Influenza vaccine given in pregnancy help the newborn baby?

  • lnfluenza vaccine in pregnancy does “double duty” by protecting both the mother and newborn baby27
  • Newborns cannot receive the lnfluenza vaccine till they are 6 months old27
  • Passive immunization of foetus through trans-placentally transmitted antibodies is an effective prevention strategy for newborns33

6. Is Influenza vaccine safe during pregnancy?

  • Yes. Influenza vaccine have been given to millions of pregnant women over the years27
  • Global bodies like WHO & CDC report that multiple studies over decades have shown an excellent and robust safety profile for use in pregnant women34
  • More than 100 countries across the globe recommend use of lnfluenza vaccination in pregnancy38

7. What are side effects of influenza vaccine for pregnant women?

  • The most common side effects experienced by pregnant women are the same as those experienced by non-pregnant women including redness, swelling, nausea & fatigue41
  • Most side effects of vaccines are mild and go away within a day or two. Severe side effects and reactions are rare41

8. Influenza vaccine availability, fluctuating prices and confusion about timing of vaccination is always a major concern?

  • GSK- The World leaders in vaccines is committed to simplify your lnfluenza vaccination practice with reliable supplies and the promise of one price throughout the flu season
  • Global health authorities including WHO, CDC & ACOG recommend use of tatest available lnfluenza vaccine round the year during any trimester of pregnancy34-36
  • It’s prudent not to wait, but vaccinate with available Influenza vaccine whenever eligible pregnant women presents

9. What is Fluarix Tetra? Is Fluarix Tetra indicated in pregnancy

  • Fluarix Tetra is World’s first approved inactivated Quadrivalent influenza vaccine brought to you from GSK. Fluarix Tetra was first approved by USFDA in 201239
  • Fluarix Tetra is globally trusted with ~20 crore doses sold across continents40
  • Fluarix Tetra lndia prescribing information ( Approved by Drugs Controller General of lndia) mentions that it can be used in all stages of pregnancy and post-partum39

10. what is the recommended schedule/timing for Fluarix Tetra

  • Larger datasets on safety are available for the second and third trimester, compared with the first trimester39
  • However, data from worldwide use of inactivated lnfluenza vaccines do not indicate any adverse foetal and maternal outcomes attributable to the vaccine39
  • Global health authorities including WHO, CDC & ACOG recommend use of latest available Influenza vaccine round the year during any trimester of pregnancy34-36
  • FoGSI endocrinology committee 2020 recommends that inactivated influenza vaccine can be given any time during pregnancy.66

11. Can Fluarix Tetra be co-administered with Tdap vaccine?

  • Study conducted in more than 8000 pregnant women over -7 years shows concomitant administration of Tdap and influenza vaccines during pregnancy was not associated with a higher risk of medically attended adverse acute outcomes or birth outcomes compared with sequential vaccination42
  • Global health authorities jncluding ACOG & CDC recommend co-administration of lnfluenza and Tdap vaccine is well tolerated and effectives34-35

12. Can a breastfeeding woman be recommended lnfluenza vaccine?

  • Yes. Health authorities recommend that breastfeeding women, if not received the lnfluenza vaccine during pregnancy, should get it to protect themselves from Influenza. Getting vaccinated reduces mothers’ risk of getting sick and of passing lnfluenza on to their babies, thus protecting their babies also41
  • This is especially important for children younger than 6 months old since they are too young to receive lnfluenza vaccine themselves41