THURSDAY, Oct. 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Many pregnant women are not getting recommended vaccinations, with less than half of those pregnant during the peak influenza vaccination period in 2017 to 2018 reporting being vaccinated before or during their pregnancy, according to research published in the Sept. 28 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Katherine E. Kahn, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined influenza and tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination coverage among women pregnant during the 2017 to 2018 influenza season using data from an internet panel survey.

The researchers found that 49.1 percent of the 1,771 survey respondents pregnant during the peak influenza vaccination period reported receiving influenza vaccine before or during their pregnancy. Just more than half (54.4 percent) of the 700 respondents who had a live birth reported receiving the Tdap vaccination during their pregnancy. Compared with women who received a recommendation but no offer and women who did not receive a recommendation, women who reported receiving a provider offer of vaccination had higher vaccination coverage. Concern about effectiveness of the influenza vaccine and lack of knowledge regarding the need for Tdap vaccination during every pregnancy were reasons for non-vaccination.

“Provider offers or referrals for vaccination in combination with patient education could reduce missed opportunities for vaccination and increase vaccination coverage among pregnant women,” the authors write.

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