Why Pregnant Women Skip Flu Shots

Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified pregnant women as one of the five initial target groups to receive the 2009 monovalent H1N1 influenza vaccine, many pregnant women report not knowing about the importance of vaccination.

Image via Flickr user USACE Europe District by Creative Commons License.

The finding comes from a cross-sectional study of 813 postpartum women at the University of Colorado Hospital conducted between November 2009 and May 2010. Barbra M. Fisher, a maternal-fetal medicine fellow at the University of Colorado, Denver, reported that 64% of women received the seasonal influenza vaccine during the study period and 54% received the novel H1N1 influenza vaccine.

Women who chose not to receive either vaccine cited the following reasons for opting out: not knowledgeable about the importance of vaccination (25%), concern for effects on fetal health (18%), concern for effects on maternal health (9%) and not knowing where to obtain vaccination (9%). In addition, 6% said that the vaccine was not available to them.

The findings, Dr. Fisher said, suggest that future vaccination campaigns “should focus on education of vaccine safety, enhance provider-patient education and communication –– targeting specific portions of the population –– and early availability of appropriate vaccines.”

— Doug Brunk (on Twitter @dougbrunk)
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1 Comment

Filed under Allergy and Immunology, Family Medicine, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology

One response to “Why Pregnant Women Skip Flu Shots

  1. Cio

    I didn’t have either vaccination, because my doctor’s wife was expecting. I asked him if he wanted her to have them. His negative response sealed the deal for me.

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