VoICE Immunization Evidence
Strategies to boost maternal immunization to achieve further gains in improved maternal and newborn health
Prenatal care-seeking can be combined with maternal immunization to compound the health benefits to mother and child while leveraging the cost-savings of integrating programs.
Key Evidence: Increased uptake of immunization for vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, could save the lives of thousands of mothers and children each year. The disease burden of tetanus, influenza, and pertussis has been minimized in many countries through maternal immunization, but wider applications of this strategy are now needed.
Maternal immunization offers an opportunity to protect the mother and fetus, but also passes this protection on to the infant after birth.
Key Evidence: Immunization against tetanus, pertussis and influenza during pregnancy has been shown to have a profound effect on the health of the mother and fetus, and increases survival of infants in their first months of life. Maternal immunizations with tetanus toxoid-containing vaccines has been one of the main contributors to the 94% reduction in global deaths due to tetanus since 1988. Between the 1970s to the early 2000s, maternal immunization against pertussis brought disease incidence down to 5,000 cases per year from the earlier 100,000-250,000 cases per year in the United States. Vaccination of mothers for influenza has brought down confirmed cases of the disease by 63%.
Steedman, M.R., Kampmann, B., Schillings, E., et al 2016. Strategies to boost maternal immunization to achieve further gains in improved maternal and newborn health. Health Affairs. 35(2)309-16.