VoICE Immunization Evidence: Growth, Development, and Nutrition

Key Concept

Key Evidence: Respiratory infections during pregnancy may exert indirect effects on the developing fetus through placental function and maternal immune responses. This in turn may lead to pre term births and reduced growth of the fetus. However, a review of recent studies, researchers show that administration of influenza vaccine during pregnancy adds 200 grams to newborn weight and that PCV7 vaccine given to infants translates into an additional 500 grams of growth in the first 6 months of life. In addition, maternal influenza vaccine led to a 15% reduction in low birth-weight. This indicates that immunization can improve intrauterine growth.

Steinhoff, M.C., Omer, S.B., Roy, E., et al 2009. Association of infant pneumococcal immunization with infant growth in Asia. Presented at Pediatric Academic Societies meeting, Vancouver, Canada.

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Key Evidence: In a study of families living on 24 plantations in Indonesia, the community immunization rate was found to be protective against thinness for age in children. In other words, children in communities with higher overall levels of immunization had better nutritional status.

Paknawin-Mock, J., Jarvis, L., Jahari, A.B., et al 2000. Community-level determinants of child growth in an Indonesian tea plantation. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 54(Suppl. 2):S28-42.

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Key Evidence: Modeling of data from India’s National Family Health Survey-3 indicated that vaccinations against DPT, polio and measles were significant positive predictors of a child’s height, weight and hemoglobin concentration. This was ascertained post modeling of data obtained from over 25,000 children.

Bhargava, A., Guntupalli, A.M., Lokshin, M. 2011. Health Care Utilization, socioeconomic factors and child health in India. Journal of Biosocial Sciences. 43(6).

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Key Evidence: This study, conducted in the United States, demonstrates an association between immunization with the inactivated influenza vaccine during pregnancy and reduced likelihood of prematurity during local, regional, and widespread influenza activity periods. Moreover, during the period of widespread influenza activity there was an association between maternal receipt of influenza vaccine and reduced likelihood of small for gestational age (SGA) birth.

Omer, S.B., Goodman, D., Steinhoff, M.C., et al 2011. Maternal influenza immunization and reduced likelihood of prematurity and small for gestational age births: a retrospective cohort study. PLOS Medicine. 8:e1000441.

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Key Evidence: Children enrolled in Universal Immunization Programs observe improvements in terms of age-appropriate height and weight as per results of a study focused on 4 year old children in India. On an average height and weight deficits were reduced by 22-25% and 15% respectively.

Anekwe, T.D., Kumar, S. 2012. The effect of a vaccination program on child anthropometry:evidence from India’s Universal Immunization Program.. Journal of Public Health. 34(4):489-497.

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Key Evidence: A study in Kenya revealed that immunization with polio, BCG, DPT and measles had protective effects with respect to stunting in children under 5 years of age. In children under the age of 2 years, immunized children were 27% less likely to experience stunting when compared to unimmunized children. Additionally, children who suffered from cough or diarrhea in the 2 weeks prior to the study showed an 80-90% higher probability of being underweight or experiencing wasting.

Gewa, C.A. and Yandell, N. 2011. Undernutrition among Kenyan children: contribution of child, maternal and household factors. Public Health Nutrition. 15(6):1029-38.

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