Maternal Immunization as a Strategy to Decrease Susceptibility to Infection in Newborn Infants

Benjamin Lindsey; Beate Kampmann; Christine Jones


Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2013;26(3):248-253. 

In This Article

Uptake of Maternal Vaccines

Implementation of maternal vaccination has been particularly poor in some countries. Although recommended officially, for example, the rate of maternal influenza vaccination in England was only 27.4% during the 2011/12 winter season.[48]

Reasons for this poor uptake are multifactorial and include lack of encouragement by healthcare workers, outright refusal from mothers and practical barriers such as a lack of infrastructure for storing vaccines in antenatal clinics. Multiple studies have shown that healthcare workers often have incorrect knowledge regarding maternal immunization and do not offer the vaccines.[49,50] Reasons frequently given by mothers for refusing a maternal vaccine are safety concerns or that women do not feel that the vaccine is necessary.[51,52] Poor uptake of current recommendations is a serious concern for the successful implementation of future maternal vaccine programmes, and research into understanding and overcoming the perceived obstacles will be important.

Despite these barriers, early data regarding the uptake of pertussis vaccine has been encouraging; 43.6% of pregnant women received the pertussis vaccination in the first month of the temporary programme in England.[53]