Missed Opportunities: A National Survey of Obstetricians About Attitudes on Maternal and Infant Immunization
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- Link-Gelles, R., Chamberlain, A.T., Schulkin, J. et al. Matern Child Health J (2012) 16: 1743. doi:10.1007/s10995-011-0936-0
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The recent reoccurrence of several vaccine-preventable diseases demonstrates the need for new techniques to promote childhood vaccination. Many mothers make decisions regarding vaccination of their children during pregnancy. As a result, obstetricians have a unique opportunity to influence maternal decisions on this crucial component of child health. Our objective was to understand OB/GYNs’ attitudes, beliefs, and current practices toward providing vaccinations to pregnant patients and providing information about routine childhood immunizations during standard prenatal care. We surveyed OB/GYNs in the United States about their vaccination practices and perceptions during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak. Most (84%) respondents indicated their practice would be administering H1N1 vaccines to pregnant patients. While a majority (98%) of responding providers felt childhood vaccination is important, relatively few (47%) felt that they could influence mothers’ vaccination choices for their children. Discussion of routine childhood immunization between obstetricians and their patients is an area for future improvements in childhood vaccination.