The aim of the study was to evaluate the knowledge and perceptions of the pregnant women presenting to our hospital for seasonal vaccination for influenza and to determine the factors associated with it.
In this cross-sectional study pregnant woman presenting to our hospital between October 2018 and March 2019 were evaluated. A non-validated, well-detailed questionnaire addressing the vaccination rates, participants’ perceptions about the facts behind the vaccination for influenza and the factors associated with refusal of vaccination was performed. Women’s knowledge level provided by their healthcare providers was also questioned.
A total of 250 participants were included in the study. The average age of the patients was 28.85 ± 5.42 years (range 18-43); and the average pregnancy week was 19 ± 9.75. It was determined that 98% (n = 245) of the participants did not have any vaccinations before, and 98.8% (n = 247) did not have any vaccination during their current pregnancy. 65.2% (n = 163) of the participants did not know that the vaccination for influenza was safe in pregnancy; and 64% (n = 160) did not know that the vaccination for influenza was recommended in pregnancy. The most frequent responses given by the participants to justify their refusal for the vaccination was “my doctor was against” and “it can be harmful to my baby” (25.6% and 24%, respectively). It was determined that 98.4% (n = 246) of the participants were not recommended about the vaccination for influenza by any healthcare centres; and 92.8% (n = 232) did not receive any information on vaccination for influenza.
The knowledge of the participants on vaccination for influenza was inadequate and had misconceptions. The inadequacy of healthcare employees, government institutions and the media may have played roles in this outcome. The reasons underlying the inadequacy of the healthcare providers on vaccination for influenza may be questioned.