Seasonal influenza and pertussis cause significant morbidity and mortality among expectant mothers and infants. Vaccination during the antenatal period is an important public health intervention, minimising rates of maternal, neonatal and infant infection.
The primary aim of this project was to establish the rates of antenatal vaccine uptake. Secondly, the study aimed to determine socio‐demographic factors significant to vaccine uptake. Thirdly, the project aimed to produce a thematic analysis of the factors affecting vaccination uptake during pregnancy.
Materials and Methods
A cross‐sectional observational study was conducted among women attending a large maternity hospital, in the western suburbs of Melbourne, for perinatal care. Data were collected via self‐completed questionnaires after delivery. Data from the questionnaires were entered into an electronic database, and STATA was used to undertake correlation analysis.
Over a 12‐month period 1678 women completed questionnaires and 1305 were eligible for further analysis. The uptake of influenza vaccine was 48.3%, pertussis vaccine uptake was higher, at 82.9%. Uptake of influenza and pertussis vaccines strongly correlated with recommendations from healthcare providers (odds ratios 29.7 and 63.8 respectively). Maternal country of birth, age and parity were significant predictors of vaccine uptake. In thematic analysis, healthcare provider recommendation and the perceived risk of the disease were factors resulting in vaccination.
This study determined the rate of antenatal vaccine uptake and significant socio‐demographic determinants affecting uptake at a large maternity hospital in metropolitan Melbourne. Ensuring healthcare providers recommend vaccination is likely to improve coverage.