Survey of influenza vaccine knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs among pregnant women in the 2016–17 season
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Survey of influenza vaccine knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs among pregnant women in the 2016–17 season

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      Influenza vaccination coverage among pregnant women in the United States is suboptimal. We surveyed women who were pregnant during the 2016–17 influenza season to assess knowledge and attitudes regarding influenza vaccination.


      We identified and sampled pregnant women to include approximately equal numbers of vaccinated and unvaccinated women from strata defined by vaccination status and trimester from four integrated health systems in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). Potential participants were contacted via mail and telephone to complete a standardized survey. Characteristics and responses of women vaccinated and unvaccinated during pregnancy were compared.


      The survey was completed by 510 (48%) of 1062 contacted women; 500 were included in the analysis. Vaccine receipt while pregnant was associated with primigravida status (p = 0.02), college degree (p = 0.01), employment in health care (p < 0.01), and history of routine annual influenza vaccination (p < 0.01). Among 330 vaccinated women, the primary reasons for vaccination included protection of self and baby from influenza (n = 233, 71%), and medical professional recommendation (n = 46, 14%). Multiple reasons were given for nonvaccination, but concern about ‘negative effects’ was cited most often (n = 44, 29%). Vaccinated women were significantly more likely to believe that influenza vaccines are safe and effective, and to recognize the potential for harm from influenza infection. Nearly all women reported receiving at least one influenza vaccination recommendation from a healthcare provider.


      Vaccinated pregnant women were more likely to receive routine annual influenza vaccine compared to those not vaccinated. Recommendations by obstetric providers should be supplemented with efforts to encourage women of childbearing age to receive annual vaccination.

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