Continuing Education| Volume 11, ISSUE 9, P849-855, October 2015

Influenza During Pregnancy: The Role of the Nurse Practitioner


      • Pregnant women have increased mortality during influenza pandemics.
      • Vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent influenza infection in pregnancy.
      • Information that exists on the fetal effects of influenza is largely negative.
      • Nurse practitioners should advocate for influenza vaccination safety in pregnancy.


      During past influenza pandemics, pregnant women had high mortality rates. Pregnant women are more severely affected by influenza related to physiologic changes to the respiratory and immune systems. Evidence suggests that receiving the influenza vaccine is safe for pregnant women, and is the best way to avoid contracting the influenza virus. Effects of influenza on the fetus are not well known, but the information that exists is largely negative. Nurse practitioners can contribute to decreased mortality by influenza in pregnant women by advocating for the safety of the vaccine and identifying early signs and symptoms of the virus.


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      Chandra Deutscher, MN, RN, is a recent graduate of the master's program, nurse practitioner stream at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB. She can be reached at .


      Laura Johnson, MN, RN(NP), is an instructor in the NP Program at the University of Manitoba.