|Title:||Influenza Vaccination for Pregnant Women|
|Document ID:||Operational Directive OD 0423/13|
|Date of issue:||Wednesday, 13 March 2013|
|Status:||NO LONGER APPLICABLE|
|Description:||The purpose of this Operational Directive is to advise Department of Health staff that all pregnant women should be offered influenza vaccination as part of routine antenatal care.|
|Period of effect:||from 20 February 2013 to 20 February 2018|
|Authorised by:||Kim Snowball, Director General, Department of Health WA, 11-Mar-2013|
|Print version:||View print version|
Influenza Vaccination for Pregnant Women
The purpose of this Operational Directive is to advise Department of Health (DoH) staff that all pregnant women should be offered influenza vaccination as part of routine antenatal care.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) continues to strongly endorse routine vaccination of all pregnant women against influenza.1 This endorsement supports existing recommendations of the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.2 3
Preventing influenza during pregnancy is an essential part of antenatal care because pregnant women are at increased risk of serious illness due to influenza.4
Excess morbidity and mortality in pregnant women with influenza compared with non-pregnant women of similar age with influenza has been well documented.5 6
The influenza vaccine can be administered to women during any stage of pregnancy, and while breast feeding. The safety of influenza vaccination during pregnancy is well established; no study to date has shown an adverse consequence of inactivated influenza vaccine in pregnant women or their offspring.7 8 9
Active placental transfer of maternal antibodies makes influenza vaccine during pregnancy a highly effective measure to protect infants from influenza during the first 6 months of life.10 11 12
Both maternal and infant benefit is now proven, with one case of serious maternal or infant respiratory illness prevented for every 5 pregnant women who are vaccinated.1
In recognition of the benefits of protecting pregnant women and their newborns against influenza, the Department of Health recommends that all pregnant women should be offered influenza vaccination as part of routine, comprehensive, antenatal care.
Vaccination early in the annual influenza season, regardless of gestational age, is optimal, but unvaccinated pregnant women should be immunized at any time vaccine is available. Influenza vaccine for the forthcoming season is usually available in WA from March each year.
Midwives, and Registered and Enrolled Nurses, are authorised to administer influenza vaccine under the direction of the medical officer overseeing the care of the patient, in accordance with existing institutional antenatal care policies.
4. OBTAINING INFLUENZA VACCINE FOR USE IN ANTENATAL CARE
The Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing provides free influenza vaccine for pregnant women as part of the National Immunisation Program.13 To receive influenza vaccination, pregnant women should visit their local doctor, antenatal clinic or their immunisation provider (e.g. community health immunisation clinics). It is important to note that the vaccine is provided at no cost; however, a consultation fee may apply in private practice.
5. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
To comply with quality assurance for the surveillance of influenza vaccination uptake, all Health Services must ensure that influenza vaccines administered to pregnant women in antenatal clinics are recorded in their electronic patient record data base. For those Health Services that do not have access to an electronic patient record data base, a copy of the Antenatal Influenza Vaccination Authorisation and Consent Form (Appendix 1) must be faxed to CDCD 08 9388 4877. GP private practices are requested to fax the reporting form allocated to them to CDCD, fax 08 9388 4877.
6. ORDERING INFLUENZA VACCINES
Orders for influenza vaccine for pregnant women can be placed via the on-line vaccine ordering system at http://colors.csldirect.com.au. Vaccine deliveries generally commence around March each year, coinciding with the national launch of the influenza vaccination program for that year.
WA Department of Health facilities in the metropolitan area that do not have access to the on-line ordering system can telephone the Communicable Disease Control Directorate on 9388 4835.
WA Department of Health facilities in regional areas which are not yet using the on-line system should order influenza vaccines via their regional pharmacy, as per the current practice.
This circular last updated: Wednesday, 13 March 2013 at 12:11pm