To evaluate the experience and attitudes of pregnant women towards influenza vaccination during pregnancy in South West Healthcare, Victoria, including acceptability, uptake and perceived risk, in order to identify the determinants to improve the influenza vaccination rate.
Methods: Self-reported cross-sectional survey conducted at South West Healthcare antenatal clinic, Warrnambool, Victoria. Pregnant women attending the South West Healthcare antenatal clinic during October 2019 to January 2020. Self-reported influenza vaccination rate prior to and during pregnancy, recommendations for vaccination and patient attitudes to the influenza vaccine.
Results:Of the 119 women who agreed to participate in the study, 113 completed the questionnaire (95%). The rate of antenatal vaccination during their current pregnancy was 55%. 68% of those who had not received the vaccine during pregnancy expressed willingness to be immunised. Women were 3.15 times (95% CI 1.3 – 7.3, p=0.007) more likely to receive the influenza vaccination antenatally if they had a recommendation from a healthcare professional (GP, obstetrician, midwife or pharmacist) or from the workplace.
Conclusions: Recommendation for the influenza vaccination during pregnancy by a variety of healthcare professionals is significantly associated with improved immunisation rates amongst pregnant women. Improved patient-centred education on the immuno-protective benefits and severe complications of infection for both mother and her newborn are required to improve antenatal vaccination rates.