Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 156-164

First online:

Reasons Why Women Accept or Reject the Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine (TIV) During Pregnancy

  • Pamela M. MeharryAffiliated withSchool of Nursing, University of Connecticut Email author 
  • , Eve R. ColsonAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine
  • , Alexandra P. GrizasAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine
  • , Robert StillerAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bridgeport Hospital
  • , Marietta VázquezAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine

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The aim of the study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the reasons why pregnant women accept or reject the seasonal influenza vaccine. The qualitative descriptive design used a face-to-face semi-structured interview format. Sixty pregnant and postpartum women at two hospitals in the Northeastern United States participated. Content analysis was the inductive method used to code the data and identify emergent themes. Six themes emerged from the data: differing degrees of influence affect action to vaccinate; two-for-one benefit is a pivotal piece of knowledge that influences future vaccination; fear if I do (vaccinate), fear if I don’t; women who verbalize ‘no need’ for the vaccine also fear the vaccine; a conveniently located venue for vaccination reduces barriers to uptake; H1N1—a benefit and barrier to the seasonal vaccine. Our study supports previous findings and reveals a deeper understanding and interpretation of the behavior and decision-making to accept or reject the influenza vaccine. Understanding the reasons behind the behavior of vaccine rejection gives us the chance to change it.


Pregnancy Influenza Vaccination Qualitative interviews