Seasonal influenza is a highly contagious disease which can lead to complications such as exacerbation of chronic conditions, hospitalization and even death. Influenza is particularly dangerous when it strikes those who are immunosuppressed, elderly, very young (children < 6 months old) or pregnant. Vaccination is recommended for everyone and especially for these vulnerable populations. Despite recommendations, vaccine uptake is lower than recommended with only 53.6% of pregnant women reporting vaccination. A systematic review on this topic was performed by Yuen et al. in 2014. A rapid systematic review was conducted to update Yuen’s findings and shed light on which factors play a role in flu vaccine decision making for pregnant women. The review resulted in the identification of eleven papers published between 2014 and 2019. Data extraction was informed by the Health belief Model (HBM). Results were organized into 5 categories--perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, perceived barriers and cues to action, all elements of the HBM. Results showed that women who perceived risk as “high”, had higher knowledge about disease, wanted to protect their babies and themselves from the disease, received a provider recommendation, along with an opportunity to receive the vaccine at the time of an office visit were more likely to be vaccinated. Unvaccinated women had more perceived barriers, such as lower knowledge, had concerns about safety of vaccine and perceived risk as low. Based on the findings, cues to action impacted vaccination status the most. To increase influenza vaccine uptake by pregnant women, health care providers need to recommend vaccination and offer it at the time of an office visit, additionally, providers need to provide education about vaccine safety, effectiveness and risks of the disease.
Recommended CitationFeshchenko, Violetta Gerzen and Frasso, PhD, MSc, CPH, Rosemary, "Perceptions of pregnant women about influenza vaccine: What do we know?" (2019). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 296.