Objective: Group B Streptococcus (GBS) causes significant infant morbidity and mortality. Promising GBS vaccines are currently in clinical trials. Because GBS vaccines would be the first to specifically target pregnant women, we sought to assess acceptability of a hypothetical GBS vaccine.
Study design: We performed an internet survey among currently pregnant or recently delivered women receiving care at one of 9Ob/Gyn practices in Colorado. Vaccine acceptability was assessed using questions based on constructs from the Health Belief Model. Multivariable analyses assessed the characteristics associated with GBS vaccine acceptability during the current/recent pregnancy.
Results: The response rate was 50% (n=231). While 78% agreed that a GBS vaccine would be a good way to protect newborns, 90% and 83% agreed, respectively, that they worried generally about the safety and effectiveness of new vaccines. Moreover, 39% believed it is generally dangerous for pregnant women to get vaccines. Seventy nine percent 'definitely' or 'probably' would have gotten a GBS vaccine in their most recent pregnancy if available. The most influential factors associated with this outcome were a strong belief in the vaccine's benefits (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 6.37, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.01-20.16), and low perceived barriers to vaccination (AOR 0.11, 95% CI (0.03-0.37)).
Conclusion: A GBS vaccine may be acceptable to pregnant women but would benefit from strong provider support and education about the risks and consequences of GBS infection and the benefits to vaccination.
Keywords: Group B Streptococcus; Pregnancy; Vaccine.
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