Influenza vaccination during pregnancy. Knowledge and recommendations from health care professionals
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Midwifery Department, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
General Hospital Alexandra, Athens, Greece
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Chrysoula Taskou   

Midwifery Department, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A108
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nations considering launching or expanding seasonal influenza vaccination programs should provide priority to pregnant women. Even if a woman is normally healthy and her pregnancy is straightforward, changes to her immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy increase her risk of developing severe influenza. Compared to non-pregnant women, pregnant women are at greater risk of hospitalization and even death if they get flu. Severe illness in the pregnant woman can also be dangerous to her fetus because it increases the chance of serious problems such as premature labor or even stillbirth. Although getting influenza during pregnancy can cause adverse maternal and prenatal outcomes, vaccination rates are low. According to research data, one of the reasons for the low vaccination rates among pregnant women is that they don't receive a clear recommendation from healthcare providers. The purpose of this study is to record the knowledge about influenza vaccine and investigate the healthcare professionals' recommendations during the perinatal period.

Material and Methods:
This cross-sectional study was conducted in Athens, Greece. The study population consisted of 240 Midwives, Ob/Gs, and Pediatricians. Data were collected using a questionnaire about demographics and knowledge about influenza vaccination (recommendations, and guidelines about vaccination). Data was analyzed by using using IBM SPSS-Statistics version 26.0.

One hundred and ninety-one (79.6%) were midwives, 27 (11.3%) were obstetricians-gynecologists and 22 (9.2%) were pediatricians. One hundred and seventeen healthcare providers in our study (73.8%) stated that they are aware of the guidelines of the Hellenic National Public Health Organization regarding flu vaccination, and more than half (150, 62.5%) mentioned that they are up to date on the developments surrounding the flu vaccine. Almost all of the study’s participants recommend the flu shot during pregnancy (227 respondents, 94.6%) but only 137 (57.1%) of our participants answered right that vaccination is recommended throughout pregnancy, and 103 participants (42.9%) replied that vaccination is suggested in the 1st or the 2nd, or the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, or they did not know the correct answer. Midwives were the most responders who answered that vaccination is recommended throughout the entire pregnancy. Obstetricians-gynecologists mentioned that they were up to date on the developments surrounding the flu vaccine nevertheless, those who knew that the flu vaccine is recommended for the general population were midwives.

This study's major goal was to pinpoint the variables that might be influencing the low vaccination rates, which might include a variety of misconceptions or a lack of information regarding the flu vaccine. To sum up, it is essential for health professionals to continue their professional development if they want to advance their level of knowledge and offer high-quality maternity care.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
There was no source of funding for this research.
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