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Pregnant women’s attitudes and behaviours towards antenatal vaccination against Influenza and COVID-19 in the Liverpool City Region, United Kingdom: cross-sectional survey

Influenza poses a serious health risk to pregnant women and their babies. Despite this risk, influenza vaccine uptake in pregnant women in the UK is less than 50%. Little is known about how COVID-19 affects pregnant women, but its management may affect attitudes and behaviours towards vaccination in pregnancy. The study objectives were to establish attitudes and knowledge of pregnant women towards influenza disease and influenza vaccination and to compare these to attitudes and knowledge about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccination.

A cross-sectional survey was conducted using an online questionnaire distributed through local advertisement and social media outlets. Information was sought on attitudes and knowledge of influenza and COVID-19 and their respective vaccines.

Participants and setting:
Pregnant women residing in Liverpool City Region, UK

Of the 237 respondents, 73.8% reported receiving an influenza vaccine. Over half (56.5%) perceived themselves to be at risk from influenza, 70.5% believed that if they got influenza, their baby would get ill, and 64.6% believed getting influenza could hurt their baby, 60.3% believed that the influenza vaccine would prevent their baby from getting ill, and 70.8% believed it would protect their baby. Only 32.9% of respondents stated they would receive the COVID-19 vaccine if it were available to them. However, 80.2% stated they would receive a COVID-19 vaccine if they were not pregnant. Most of the women stated that they would accept a vaccine if recommended to them by healthcare professionals.

Acceptance of the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy seems to be more related to the safety of the baby rather than the mother. Women perceived their child to be more at risk than themselves. Information about influenza and COVID-19 vaccine safety as well as healthcare provider recommendations play an important role in vaccine uptake in pregnant women.

Original content: Health Data Research Innovation Gateway