Chicago Il Obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Max Izbicki cares for pregnant women through all stages of pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum. Dr. Izbicki cares for women with low and high-risk pregnancies.
According to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics, receiving an influenza vaccine during pregnancy does not increase a child’s risk of autism. Researchers also found no increased risk among those women who received an influenza vaccine during pregnancy, particularly when the expectant mother received the vaccination during her second or third trimester. The study does present clinically insignificant data for higher risk when mothers received a flu vaccination during the first trimester, though researchers note that this may be attributable to chance.
The findings stem from an examination of data regarding a cohort of nearly 197,000 children born at Kaiser Permanente from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2010. All children were born at 24 weeks gestation or later. After reviewing participant families’ medical records, which included maternal influenza and vaccination as well as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis in their children, researchers recommended no change in existing recommendations that pregnant women receive the flu shot.
Because women in pregnancy are particularly vulnerable to infection, a flu shot during pregnancy is currently the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and all relevant obstetric and pediatric medicine societies. However, more research will likely occur to further examine any increased risk during the crucial first trimester.