, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 1185-1190,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 22 Aug 2012

Obstetricians and the 2009–2010 H1N1 Vaccination Effort: Implications for Future Pandemics


Our objective was to describe the experiences of obstetricians during the 2009–2010 H1N1 vaccination campaign in order to identify possible improvements for future pandemic situations. We conducted a cross-sectional mail survey of a national random sample of 4,000 obstetricians, fielded in Summer 2010. Survey items included availability, recommendation, and patient acceptance of H1N1 vaccine; prioritization of H1N1 vaccine when supply was limited; problems with H1N1 vaccination; and likelihood of providing vaccine during a future influenza pandemic. Response rate was 66 %. Obstetricians strongly recommended H1N1 vaccine during the second (85 %) and third (86 %) trimesters, and less often during the first trimester (71 %) or the immediate postpartum period (76 %); patient preferences followed a similar pattern. H1N1 vaccine was typically available in outpatient obstetrics clinics (80 %). Overall vaccine supply was a major problem for 30 % of obstetricians, but few rated lack of thimerosal-free vaccine as a major problem (12 %). Over half of obstetricians had no major problems with the H1N1 vaccine campaign. Based on this experience, 74 % would be “very likely” and 12 % “likely” to provide vaccine in the event of a future influenza pandemic. Most obstetricians strongly recommended H1N1 vaccine, had few logistical problems beyond limited vaccine supply, and are willing to vaccinate in a future pandemic. Addressing concerns about first-trimester vaccination, developing guidance for prioritization of vaccine in the event of severe supply constraints, and continued facilitation of the logistical aspects of vaccination should be emphasized in future influenza pandemics.