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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Finds Flu Vaccination Coverage During Pregnancy Rises – But Not Enough

Influenza vaccination rates during pregnancy increased from 20 percent in 2005–2006 to 41 percent in 2013–2014—a level that falls short of the recommendation that all women who are pregnant during influenza season be vaccinated, according to a new paper by researchers from Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH).

The findings, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, show that coverage increased during the 2009–2010 pH1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine season to approximately 33 percent, then declined slightly in the next two seasons before increasing again during the 2012–2013 and 2013–2014 seasons—to 35 percent and 41 percent, respectively.

Overall, nearly 80 percent of the vaccinations received by pregnant women were administered in a traditional health care setting, such as the office of their obstetrician or primary care physician or a prenatal clinic. During the nine flu vaccination seasons reviewed, the proportion of vaccine doses received by women in these settings increased only slightly, from 73 percent to 80 percent. Meanwhile, the proportion of doses received in pharmacy/supermarket settings increased from 4 percent to 8 percent, while those received at work or school decreased from 23 percent in 2006–2007 to 10 percent in 2013–2014.

The authors said that while the increase in the vaccination rate was encouraging, the percentage of pregnant women receiving the vaccine “remains far short of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation of flu vaccination for all women who will be pregnant during influenza season.”

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