Influenza Vaccination in Pregnancy: Current Practices in a Suburban Community

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Abstract

Purpose:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identify women in their second and third trimesters as a high-risk population warranting influenza vaccination. This study attempted to characterize understanding of these guidelines and obstacles to their implementation in a suburban community.

Methods:

Family physicians and obstetricians with admitting privileges to a community-based hospital were surveyed regarding estimated vaccine availability and administration in their practices and regarding knowledge of indications and contraindications to influenza vaccination in pregnancy.

Results:

Of the 20 obstetricians and 66 family physicians completing the survey, 68.4% of obstetricians and 90.5% of family physicians carried the vaccine in their offices (P = .027). Both obstetricians and family physicians incorrectly perceived multiple factors as contraindications to influenza vaccination in pregnancy. Obstetricians and family physicians reported similar proportions of their pregnant patients received the vaccine (35 versus 40%).

Conclusions:

In this study, more family physicians had the influenza vaccine available than obstetricians, but there was no difference in estimated rates of vaccination during pregnancy or in the understanding of its indications and contraindications. Finally, no physicians in our community reported providing influenza vaccination in pregnancy at recommended frequencies. Further research is needed to clarify methods of improving vaccination rates in both family practice and obstetric settings.

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