Vaccines designed for use in pregnancy and vaccine trials specifically involving pregnant women are rapidly expanding. One of the key challenges in designing maternal immunization trials is that developing exclusion criteria requires understanding and quantifying the background risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes in the pregnancy being studied, which can occur independent of any intervention and be unrelated to vaccine administration. The Global Alignment of Immunization Safety Assessment in Pregnancy (GAIA) project has developed and published case definitions and guidelines for data collection, analysis, and evaluation of maternal immunization safety in trials involving pregnant women. Complementing this work, we sought to understand how to best assess obstetric risk of adverse outcomes and differentiate it from the assessment of vaccine safety. Quantification of obstetric risk is based on prior and current obstetric, and maternal medical history. We developed a step-wise approach to evaluate and quantify obstetric and maternal risk factors in pregnancy based on review of published literature and guidelines, and critically assessed these factors in the context of designing inclusion and exclusion criteria for maternal vaccine studies. We anticipate this risk assessment evaluation may assist clinical trialists with study design decisions, including selection of exclusion criteria for vaccine trials involving pregnant women, consideration of sub-group classification, such as high or low risk subjects, or schedule considerations, such as preferred trimester of gestation for an intervention during pregnancy. Additionally, this tool may be utilized in data stratification at time of study analyses.

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Keywords Clinical research, Clinical trial, Exclusion criteria, Inclusion criteria, Maternal immunization, Obstetric and neonatal risk factors, Pregnant women, Vaccine, Vaccine safety
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Journal Vaccine
Eckert, L.O. (Linda O.), Jones, C.E. (Christine E.), Kachikis, A. (Alisa), Bardají, A. (Azucena), Silva, F.T.D. (Fernanda Tavares Da), Absalon, J. (Judith), … Munoz, F.M. (Flor M.). (2020). Obstetrics risk Assessment: Evaluation of selection criteria for vaccine research studies in pregnant women. Vaccine. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.05.022