Antigen specific vaccine hesitancy in pregnancy

P. G. Van Buynder, J. L. Van Buynder, L. Menton, G. Thompson, J. Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Vaccinations in pregnancy are recommended for the potential benefits of preventing severe pertussis disease in newborns and for preventing the impact of influenza on the pregnant woman, her foetus in utero and, the newborn in the first six months of life. Published data in Australia suggested that coverage rates were sub-optimal so the reasons for this were reviewed. 

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 1014 postnatal women, aged 18 years and older, who had given birth in the previous six months was undertaken on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Participants completed a brief questionnaire on provided smart tablets at public vaccination clinics or with a researcher by phone or via an on-line link. 

Results: Just over 85% of survey respondents received a pertussis booster with many of those not receiving vaccine having had it in a recent pregnancy. Only 36.7% of respondents had an influenza vaccine in pregnancy with key barriers being belief in influenza vaccine, seasonality of parturition and a lack of recommendation from the attending obstetric carers. 

Discussion: While maternal pertussis vaccine programs are a success, work needs to be done to improve the public perception of the risk benefit equation surrounding influenza vaccine in general, and particularly its use in pregnancy. Research is required into approaches to altering practitioner attitudes as well as how to alter public perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2814-2820
Number of pages7
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 09 May 2019


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