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Influenza in pregnancy is a common condition that is associated with an increased risk of hospital admission. Women with comorbidities are at a greater risk of severe outcomes. There are substantial gaps in our knowledge of the impact of severe influenza on perinatal outcomes, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, but preterm birth, fetal death, infant respiratory infection and hospital admission may be increased. Thus, influenza is a major burden on health services. Immunisation is cost-effective, safe and effective in preventing influenza in pregnant women and their infants but policies and uptake vary worldwide. Operational challenges and concern over the safety, efficacy and necessity of immunisation are common, and there is a lack of evidence on how to overcome these barriers. This review identifies learning points that are relevant to the current coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic through describing the epidemiology and impact of seasonal and A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza in pregnancy, alongside the effectiveness and use of immunisation.

Original publication




Journal article


Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol

Publication Date



Immunisation, Influenza, Pandemic, Pregnancy, Vaccine