Babies who are less than six months of age are less likely to develop flu related illnesses if their mothers were vaccinated while pregnant a new study finds.

Infants and young children are usually more prone to developing influenza complications. They have to however wait to reach 6 months before being vaccinated.

The study’s researcher Angelia Eick, formerly of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and now of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center in Silver Spring, Maryland found that babies of vaccinated mothers are 41 percent less likely to have a flu infection and 39 percent less likely to be hospitalized with flu-like illness.

The research also found babies at birth are found to have higher levels of flu antibodies and at 2 to 3 months of age when compared with babies from non-vaccinated mothers.

“Influenza virus infection in infants is generally more frequent among those aged 6 to 12 months than in the first six months of life, potentially owing to the protection conferred by maternal influenza antibodies acquired transplacentally or through breastfeeding. However, during severe influenza seasons, morbidity and mortality rates among infants younger than 6 months have been reported to exceed those of older infants,” researchers wrote.

The study covered 1,169 women who gave birth during the influenza season who completed questionnaires about their vaccinations, vaccinations of all family members, and flu risk factors

The seasonal flu vaccines created this year will guard against the 2009 H1N1 virus that caused a pandemic last flu season and contains three viral strains: influenza A H3N2, influenza B and the 2009 version of H1N1.