Despite the significant benefits of maternal immunisation, uptake remains low in many parts of the world. In this qualitative study, we aimed to assess the factors that influence pregnant women's decision to engage with maternal immunisation in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We conducted in-depth interviews with a total of 28 purposively sampled pregnant women and key informants using semi-structured topic guides. Data analysis was conducted using a modified Health Belief Model framework that included constructs of barriers to action, modifying factors of cue to action and perceived social norms. The findings show that traditional customs and institutional barriers such as low-quality health service delivery, long queues, and distance to the health facilities, immunisation vaccine stockouts and low levels of maternal knowledge influence the choice and decision to engage with maternal immunisation. Understanding health-related behaviours and addressing barriers to care is important in facilitating vaccination uptake. This study contributes to the understanding of maternal immunisation uptake in low-resource settings.
Keywords: maternal healthcare; maternal immunisation; tetanus toxoid; vaccine uptake.