Regan, A., Mak, D., Hauck, Y., Gibbs, R., Tracey, L., & Effler, P. (2016). Trends in seasonal influenza vaccine uptake during pregnancy in Western Australia: Implications for midwives. Women and Birth, Early View (Online First).
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.
influenza vaccine; pregnant woman; maternal health; maternal vaccination; 26 antenatal vaccination