Flu Shot Rates Stall at 50% for Pregnant Women

Pharmacy Times, October 2014 Diabetes, Volume 80, Issue 10

Just over 50% of pregnant women were vaccinated against influenza during the 2013-2014 season, according to a report published in the September 19, 2014, issue of MMWR.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have recommended that all women who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season receive the flu shot. To estimate the percentage of pregnant women who followed these recommendations during the 2013-2014 flu season, the CDC analyzed responses from an Internet survey of 1619 women who were pregnant at any time from October 2013 to January 2014.

Overall, 52.2% reported vaccination before or during pregnancy, similar to the 50.5% coverage rate during the 2012-2013 season. In addition, 65.1% said that a health care professional had recommended and offered a flu shot, 70.5% of whom were vaccinated. In comparison, vaccination rates among women who received a recommendation but no vaccination offer, and those who did not receive a recommendation or offer, were 32% and 9.7%, respectively.

Coverage was lowest among non-Hispanic black women (42.7%), compared with non- Hispanic white women (52%), Hispanic women (56.7%), and women of other races (61.9%). Women who felt the vaccine was ineffective or unsafe had lower vaccination rates.