Pertussis and influenza immunization: perceived attitude and decision of postpartum patients

Nutan B. Hebballi, Tayler Parker, Elisa I. Garcia, Dalya M. Ferguson, Susan Lesser, Kuo Jen Tsao, Maryam Broussard, Susan H. Wootton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Vaccination of pregnant patients with tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) and influenza vaccine during influenza season can reduce maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality; nevertheless, vaccination rates remain suboptimal in this patient population. To investigate the effect of a brief educational counseling session on maternal Tdap and influenza vaccination and determine factors influencing women’s decision in regards to receiving Tdap and or influenza vaccine during their pregnancy. Methods: A face-to-face semi-structured cross-sectional survey was administered to postpartum patients on their anticipated day of discharge (June 11-August 21, 2018). A brief educational counseling session about maternal pertussis and Tdap vaccine was provided to interested patients after which the Tdap vaccine was offered to eligible patients who did not receive it during their pregnancy or upon hospital admission. Medical records were reviewed to determine if surveyed patients were vaccinated prior to discharge. Results: Two hundred postpartum patients were surveyed on their day of anticipated discharge. Of those who were surveyed, 103 (51.5%) had received Tdap and 80 (40.0%) had received influenza vaccinations prior to hospitalization. Among immunized patients, the common facilitators were doctor’s recommendation (Tdap: 68, 54.4%; influenza: 3, 6.0%), to protect their baby (Tdap: 57, 45.6%; influenza: 17, 34.0%) and for self-protection (Tdap: 17, 13.6%; Influenza: 17, 34.0%). Of the 119 participants who had not received either Tdap or influenza vaccine prior to the survey, the barriers cited were that the vaccine was not offered by the provider (Tdap: 36, 52.2%; influenza: 29, 27.6%), belief that vaccination was unnecessary (Tdap: 5, 7.2%; influenza: 9, 8.5%), safety concerns for baby (Tdap: 4, 5.8%; influenza: 2, 1.9%). Of 97 patients who were not immunized with Tdap prior to admission but were eligible to receive vaccine, 24 (25%) were vaccinated prior to survey as part of routine hospital-based screening and vaccination program, 29 (38.2%) after our survey. Conclusion: Interventions to educate pregnant patients about the benefits of vaccination for their baby, addressing patient safety concerns, and vaccine administration in obstetricians’ offices may significantly improve maternal vaccination rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number975
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Influenza
  • Maternal vaccination
  • Pertussis
  • Postpartum
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal vaccination
  • Whooping cough

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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