What Are You Reading?
At the last Infectious Diseases Journal Club, I reviewed “Quadrivalent HPV Vaccination and the Risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes”, a comprehensive review published in the March 30th, 2017 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine that examined adverse pregnancy outcomes between women who received the quadrivalent HPV vaccine during pregnancy and those who did not. I trained in both internal medicine and pediatrics and studies like this one pique my interest as the implications span across the fields. The HPV vaccine is recommended for all women ages 9-26 years, but few data exist regarding the vaccine during pregnancy. The study’s data showed that the children born to women vaccinated with the quadrivalent HPV vaccine during pregnancy did not have a significantly higher rate of major birth defects compared to children born to women who were not vaccinated with the quadrivalent HPV vaccine during pregnancy. Also, the number of spontaneous abortions, preterm births, infants with low birth weight, infants who were small for gestational age, and stillbirths were not higher in the vaccinated cohorts than in the unvaccinated cohorts. This data therefore supports the safety of HPV vaccines if they are inadvertently given in pregnancy. For me, this study highlights the need for vaccine studies to include pregnant women who until recently were classified as a “vulnerable population” by the Common Rule, the ethical framework that guides biomedical research in humans in the United States.
– Content courtesy of Dr. Andrea Green