Exploring pregnant women's views on influenza vaccination and educational text messages
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BACKGROUND: The influenza vaccine has the potential to reduce morbidity among pregnant women and newborns but immunization coverage remains low. Effective interventions are needed to promote vaccine uptake in this population. PURPOSE: The goal of this study was to explore attitudes toward influenza vaccination and interest in targeted educational text messages among urban pregnant women. METHODS: English and Spanish language focus groups were conducted with pregnant women in New York City in April 2010. Transcripts were independently coded using content analysis. RESULTS: The 40 participants ranged in age from 19-35 years (mean=26, SD=5). Their gestational age ranged from 8-40 weeks (mean=27, SD=8). Most were Latina (85%), had other children (70%), and were publicly insured (78%). Nearly half had received the seasonal influenza or influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccine. Barriers to vaccination included concerns regarding vaccine safety and efficacy, misperceptions regarding risks for influenza, and lack of provider recommendation. Pregnant women expressed interest in receiving educational text messages regarding influenza. Even women who had refused the influenza vaccine thought the text messages would encourage vaccine-related discussions during prenatal visits. CONCLUSION: Among urban pregnant women, educational text messages regarding influenza would be well received and may effectively address current barriers to vaccination.
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