The Vaccine Book, Chapter 10 - Maternal Immunization: Protecting Vulnerable Populations

Elsevier, The Vaccine Book, Second Edition, 2016, Pages 183-203
Janet E. Englund

The concept of maternal immunization to prevent infectious diseases in the mother and infant during a period of increased vulnerability is supported by historical experience and small but carefully conducted studies of various viral and bacterial vaccines. Candidate vaccines for use in pregnant women should be minimally reactogenic, as well as immunogenic, and safe, and must undergo careful, prospective, longitudinal clinical studies to assure the safety and long-term effectiveness of this approach. The importance of candidate diseases that are targeted for maternal immunization should be documented and clinical studies should study clinical effectiveness and transplacental antibody transmission. Access to antenatal care and health education must be achieved if maternal immunization is to succeed as a disease prevention strategy.