Abstract

Background: Antenatal influenza vaccination is an important public health intervention for preventing serious illness in mothers and newborns, yet uptake remains low. Aim: To evaluate trends in seasonal influenza vaccine coverage and identify determinants for vaccination among pregnant women in Western Australia.

Methods: We conducted an annual telephone survey in a random sample of post-partum women who delivered a baby in Western Australia between 2012 and 2014. Women were asked whether influenza vaccination was recommended and/or received during their most recent pregnancy; women were also asked why or why they were not immunised.

Findings: Between 2012 and 2014, influenza vaccine coverage increased from 22.9% to 41.4%. Women who reported receiving the majority of their antenatal care from a private obstetrician were significantly more likely to have influenza vaccination recommended to them than those receiving the majority of their care from a public antenatal hospital or general practitioner (p < 0.001). In 2014, the most common reason women reported for accepting influenza vaccination was to protect the baby (92.8%) and the most common reason for being unimmunised was lack of a healthcare provider recommendation (48.5%).

Discussion: Antenatal influenza vaccination uptake is increasing, but coverage remains below 50%. A recommendation from the principal care provider is an important predictor of maternal influenza vaccination.

Conclusion: Antenatal care providers, including midwives, have a key role in providing appropriate information and evidence-based recommendations to pregnant women to ensure they are making informed decisions. Consistent recommendations from antenatal care providers are critical to improving influenza vaccine coverage in pregnant women.

Keywords

influenza vaccine; pregnant woman; maternal health; maternal vaccination; 26 antenatal vaccination

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Link to Publisher Version (DOI)

http://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2016.01.009