Maternal flu vax linked to reduced premmie risk

WOMEN vaccinated against influenza during pregnancy are up to 70% less likely to have babies born preterm during the flu season than unvaccinated mothers, new research shows.

US researchers looked at the rates of preterm and small for gestational age births among more than 4000 live births that spanned two influenza seasons between 2004 and 2006, after adjusting for confounding factors such as maternal diabetes and alcohol use.

Around 15% of the women giving birth received the influenza vaccine during pregnancy, and their babies who were born during the influenza season were 40% less likely to be born prematurely