The safety and immunogenicity of vaccines administered to pregnant women living with HIV: A systematic review and meta-analysis



Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-exposed uninfected (HEU) infants have a higher burden of infectious diseases related morbidity and mortality compared with HIV-unexposed uninfected (HUU). Immunization of pregnant women living with HIV (PWLWH) could reduce the severity and burden of infectious diseases for HEU in early infancy.


We conducted a systematic review of safety and immunogenicity of vaccines administered to PWLWH and meta-analyses to test the overall effect of immunogenicity comparing pregnant women without HIV (PWWH) to PWLWH. We searched MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, Virtual Health Library and Cochrane databases in accordance with PRISMA guidelines for randomized controlled trials and observational studies. Review articles, case series, conference abstracts, and animal studies were excluded. Studies were included from inception to 6th September 2023, with no language restrictions. Random effects meta-analyses were performed for immunogenicity using Review manager (RevMan) analysis software version 5.4.1, Geometric Mean Titer (GMT) values were transformed to obtain the mean and standard deviation within RevMan, the effect size was computed and reported as mean difference with respective 95% confidence intervals. The review was registered with PROSPERO CRD42021289081.


We included 12 articles, comprising 3744 pregnant women, 1714 were PWLWH given either influenza, pneumococcal or an investigational Group B streptococcal (GBS) vaccine. Five studies described safety outcomes, and no increase in adverse events was reported in PWLWH compared to PWWH. The GMT increase from baseline to 28–35 weeks post vaccination in HA units ranged from 12.4 (95% CI: 9.84–14.9) to 238.8 (95% CI: 0.35–477.9). Meta-analyses of influenza vaccines showed the pooled geometric mean difference in Hemagglutination Inhibition (HAI) titers post vaccination was 56.01 (95% CI: 45.01–67.01), p < 0.001. The increase was less in PWLWH when compared with PWWH: −141.76 (95% CI: −194.96, −88.55), p < 0.001.


There are limited data on the safety and immunogenicity of vaccines given to PWLWH making policy consideration in this group difficult when new vaccines are introduced. With new vaccines on the horizon, PWLWH need to be included in studies to promote vaccine confidence for this special population.


Nakabembe E, Cooper J, Amaral K, Tusubira V, Hsia Y, Abu-Raya B, Sekikubo M, Nakimuli A, Sadarangani M, Le Doare K




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • Women
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions


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