Background: Pregnant women are a target group for receipt of influenza vaccine because there appears to be an elevated mortality and morbidity rate associated with influenza virus infection in pregnant women. The goal of this study is to determine the factors affecting the decisions of pregnant women in Turkey to be vaccinated or not for 2009 H1N1 influenza.
Methodology: We enrolled 314 of 522 (60.2%) pregnant women who attended to the antenatal clinics of the Medical Faculty of Kahramanmaras Sutcuimam University's Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics between December 23, 2009, and February 1, 2010. We developed a 48-question survey which was completed in a face-to-face interview at the clinic with each pregnant woman.
Principal findings: Of the 314 pregnant women, 27.4% were in the first trimester, 33.8% were in the second trimester, and 38.8% were in the third trimester. Twenty-eight pregnant women (8.9%) got vaccinated. Of all the women interviewed, 68.5% stated that they were comfortable with their decisions about the vaccine, 7.3% stated they were not comfortable, and 24.2% stated that they were hesitant about their decisions. The probability of receiving the 2009 H1N1 vaccine was 3.46 times higher among working women than housewives, 1.85 times higher among women who have a child than those who do not, and 1.29 times higher among women with a high-school education or higher than those with only a secondary-school education and below. Correct knowledge about the minimal risks associated with receipt of influenza vaccine were associated with a significant increase in the probability of receiving the 2009 H1N1 vaccine.
Conclusions/significance: The number of pregnant women in the study group who received the 2009 H1N1 vaccine was very low (8.9%) and two-thirds of them stated that they were comfortable with their decisions concerning the vaccine. Our results may have implications for public health measures to increase the currently low vaccination rate among pregnant women. Further studies are required to confirm whether our findings generalize to other influenza seasons and other settings.