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Flu Vaccination Recommended During Pregnancy

Flu vaccination rates in pregnancy remain low, with only one-quarter of women opting to have the jab, Australian research shows.

Those who were vaccinated said they were simply following their doctor’s advice, indicating health provider recommendation has a strong influence on a pregnant woman’s decision to vaccinate, researchers from the University of NSW’s school of public health and community medicine found.

Lead author of the study, Louise Maher said more than half of the women surveyed “had no idea they should be vaccinated or that vaccination was available and free.”

“Our study showed that if a healthcare provider recommended a flu vaccination in pregnancy nearly 80% of women said they would do it,” she said.

And the odds of vaccination were increased if the recommendation came from a GP, the study of 462 pregnant women across the Sydney and South Sydney regions found.

Almost half the women cited a recommendation from their GP as one of the main reasons for receiving the vaccine.

“GPs have higher vaccination rates than antenatal clinics because they have the vaccine available whereas a midwife or obstetrician might recommend it but the patient would then have to go to a GP to receive it,” Ms Maher said.

While safety concerns were cited as an issue for some women, results from the study indicate that a provider recommendation can overcome these concerns, the authors concluded.

Routine seasonal influenza vaccination for all pregnant women is recommended in Australia by health authorities and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Book with Doctors On Buderim for your flu vaccination.

by Amanda Davey