Strategies to implement maternal vaccination: A comparison between standing orders for midwife delivery, a hospital based maternal immunisation service and primary care

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Maternal vaccination is a safe and effective strategy to reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality from pertussis and influenza. However, despite recommendations for maternal vaccination since 2010, uptake remains suboptimal. Barriers to uptake have been studied widely and include lack of integration of vaccination into routine pregnancy care and access to vaccination services. Standing orders for administration of vaccines without the need for a physician review or prescription have been demonstrated to improve uptake as part of multi-model interventions to increase antenatal influenza and post-partum pertussis vaccination. Monash Health is a university-affiliated, public healthcare network in Melbourne, Australia providing maternity services across three hospitals. In this study we compared three different immunisation models – an immunisation nurse-led immunisation service, standing orders for midwife-administered pertussis vaccination within pregnancy care clinics, and delivery by general practitioners in primary care. Uptake of maternal pertussis vaccine was measured as recorded in the state-wide perinatal data collection tool. Uptake improved significantly at all three hospitals over the study period with the most significant change (39% to 91%, p <.001) noted at the hospital where standing orders were introduced. Our study highlights the diversity of immunisation service models available in maternity care settings. We demonstrated significant improvement in uptake of maternal pertussis vaccination with introduction of midwife-administered vaccination but each maternity service should consider the model best suited to their needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1796-1800
Number of pages5
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2018


  • Maternal vaccination
  • Standing orders
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines in pregnancy

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