Publication Details

Webb, H., Street, J. & Marshall, H. (2014). Incorporating immunizations into routine obstetric care to facilitate Health Care Practitioners in implementing maternal immunization. Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, 10 (4), 1114-1121.


Immunization against pertussis, influenza, and rubella reduces morbidity and mortality in pregnant women and their offspring. Health care professionals (HCPs) caring for women perinatally are uniquely placed to reduce maternal vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs). Despite guidelines recommending immunization during the perinatal period, maternal vaccine uptake remains low. This qualitative study explored the role of obstetricians, general practitioners, and midwives in maternal vaccine uptake. Semi-structured interviews (n = 15) were conducted with perinatal HCPs at a tertiary maternity hospital in South Australia. HCPs were asked to reflect on their knowledge, beliefs, and practice relating to immunization advice and vaccine provision. Interviews were transcribed and coded using thematic analysis. Data collection and analysis was an iterative process, with collection ceasing with theoretical saturation. Participants unanimously supported maternal vaccination as an effective way of reducing risk of disease in this vulnerable population, however only rubella immunity detection and immunization is embedded in routine care. Among these professionals, delegation of responsibility for maternal immunization was unclear and knowledge about maternal immunization was variable. Influenza and pertussis vaccine prevention measures were not included in standard pregnancy record documentation, information provision to patients was "ad hoc" and vaccinations not offered on-site. The key finding was that the incorporation of maternal vaccinations into standard care through a structured process is an important facilitator for immunization uptake. Incorporating vaccine preventable disease management measures into routine obstetric care including incorporation into the Pregnancy Record would facilitate HCPs in implementing recommendations. Rubella prevention provides a useful "template" for other vaccines. 2014 Landes Bioscience.



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