Craig Forde and Dan McKenna
University College Cork, Ireland
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Clin Cell Immunol
Introduction: Despite well-established guidelines recommending Pertussis and Influenza vaccination in pregnancy,
international uptake rates remain unsatisfactory. In Ireland, there is limited data on vaccine uptake rates and on what
governs a woman’s choice on vaccination acceptance.
Aim: To assess the uptake of the Pertussis and Influenza vaccine in pregnant women. Further aims include exploring barriers to vaccine acceptance and the best mediums to promote vaccine awareness in pregnancy.
Method: A cross sectional survey was distributed to a convenience sample of 100 pregnant women of greater than 16 weeks gestation in antenatal clinics in Cork University Maternity Hospital. The surveys ascertained maternal characteristics, history of influenza vaccination, and reasons for lack of vaccination. Data analysis was preformed using SPSS v23.
Results: Pertussis vaccine uptake was 38% with safety concerns cited in 16% of the women. Uptake of the influenza vaccine was 24% with safety concerns cited amongst 21% of women. Awareness of both vaccine programs was 71% and 51% respectively. 82% of women stated they wanted more information on both vaccine programs, with 55% selecting the GP surgery and 50% selecting Antenatal clinics as the preferred place to receive the information.
Conclusion: Vaccine uptake in this cohort of pregnant women was poor. Engagement with both GPs and antenatal clinics who have been shown to influence a women’s decision making is crucial to these programs. Knowledgeable health care staff must be conscientious in counseling pregnant women with accurate and time-appropriate information if vaccine uptake is to be improved.