Maternal immunization is an important strategy to prevent severe morbidity and mortality in mothers and their offspring. This study aimed to identify whether new parents were following immunization recommendations prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy, and postnatally. A cross-sectional survey was conducted by a questionnaire administered antenatally to pregnant women attending a maternity hospital with a follow-up telephone interview at 8-10 weeks post-delivery. Factors associated with uptake of pertussis vaccination within the previous five years or postnatally and influenza vaccination during pregnancy were explored using log binomial regression models. A total of 297 pregnant women completed the questionnaire. For influenza vaccine, 20.3% were immunized during pregnancy and 3.0% postnatally. For pertussis vaccine, 13.1% were vaccinated within five years prior to pregnancy and 31 women received the vaccine postnatally, 16 (51.6%) received the vaccine > 4 weeks after delivery. Receiving a recommendation from a healthcare practitioner (HCP) was an independent predictor for receipt of both pertussis (RR 2.07, p<0.001) and influenza vaccine (RR 2.26, p=0.001). Non-English speaking mothers were significantly less likely to have received pertussis vaccination prior to pregnancy or postnatally (RR 0.24, p=0.011). Multiparous pregnant women were less likely to have received an influenza vaccine during their current pregnancy (p=0.015). Uptake of pregnancy related immunization is low and likely due to poor knowledge of availability, language barriers and lack of recommendations from HCPs. Strategies to improve maternal vaccine uptake should include education about recommended vaccines for both HCPs and parents and written information in a variety of languages.
Authors:Wong CY1, Thomas NJ, Clarke M, Boros C, Tuckerman J, Marshall HS.
Journal:Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2015