Though the prevalence of pertussis is on the rise, only 35% of pregnant women in California with public insurance reported receiving the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine (Tdap). The Tdap vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of neonatal pertussis by 78% if mothers received it in the third trimester. This study evaluates pregnant women’s knowledge about the Tdap and its acceptance rate during pregnancy.METHODS:
After IRB approval was obtained, pregnant women receiving prenatal care at a public teaching-hospital clinic were individually interviewed from June to August 2017 about their knowledge of vaccines during pregnancy. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. Women who already received the Tdap were excluded. The clinic’s Tdap acceptance rate was obtained through chart review.RESULTS:
Among 152 pregnant women who had not yet received the Tdap during the current pregnancy, 80(53%) had never heard of the vaccine. An additional 53(35%) had heard of the vaccine but could not identify why the vaccine was recommended in pregnancy. Forty-eight percent of these women were either undecided at the time of their interview or did not plan to get the Tdap. In contrast, the Tdap acceptance rate in the third trimester in this clinic was 84%.CONCLUSION:
The majority of pregnant women in a low-income clinic have limited understanding of the importance of the Tdap during pregnancy. Interestingly, most pregnant women in this population nonetheless received the vaccine. Educational initiatives about the Tdap may improve patients' knowledge and help them become more informed in their pregnancy-related decisions.