Vaccine 2019; 37(22): 2882 - 2883

Maternal immunization: A call to accelerate progress.

Bardají A, MacDonald NE, Omer SB, Aguado T
20.04.2019
- Maternal immunization provides an excellent evidence-based strategy for preventing severe disease and decreasing neonatal and infant mortality. A substantial proportion of these deaths are due to infectious diseases, most of them vaccine-preventable, then, there is a real opportunity for intervention. Maternal immunization has been an underexploited area for many years, with the exception of neonatal tetanus. There are now programs for influenza and acellular pertussis vaccination in many countries and two maternal vaccine targets under development are focused on decreasing the burden of infant respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Group B Streptococcus (GBS). Bodies like the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization established by the WHO, the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, have recognized the relevance of maternal immunization on several occasions. However, why is the field not moving faster, as one might expect? Major initiatives and programs should consider spelling out more clearly the role and benefits of this intervention and calling for specific actions, including future strategic approaches for the post 2020 immunization strategy following the GVAP; and single out the area as one of its priorities as a key component of immunization across the life course. While waiting for the new vaccines like RSV and GBS and optimizing the use of influenza and pertussis there is momentum now to coordinate efforts, address the missing information and action gaps, and call to accelerate progress.
DOI
10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.04.031

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