Understanding the barriers to uptake of antenatal vaccination by women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds: A cross-sectional study

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The role of maternal vaccination in reducing neonatal morbidity and mortality is expanding but uptake remains suboptimal. While the barriers to uptake have been well described, women from minority groups have not been well represented in previous studies. In this study we examine the facilitators and barriers to uptake of antenatal vaccination by women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Melbourne, Australia. 537 women attending antenatal care completed a survey; 69% were born overseas. 63% had or intended to receive pertussis vaccine and 57% had or intended to receive influenza vaccine during their pregnancy. On multivariable analysis, predictors of uptake of pertussis vaccine were healthcare provider recommendation (OR 10, 95% CI 5–21, p < 0.001) and belief maternal pertussis vaccination is safe (OR 36, 95% CI 18–70, p < 0.001). For influenza vaccine, predictors of uptake were previous receipt of influenza vaccine (OR 8, 95% CI 5–15, p < 0.001) and healthcare provider recommendation (OR 30, 95% CI 16–56, p < 0.001). Lack of healthcare provider recommendation was the main reason for non-vaccination (17/46, 37%). While most women were aware of and intended to receive recommended vaccinations, recently arrived migrant women (resident in Australia for less than two years) were less likely to be aware of pertussis vaccine (15/22, 68% vs 452/513, 88%, p = 0.01) and less likely to believe it to be safe during pregnancy (4/22, 18% vs 299/514, 58%, p < 0.001). This highlights the important role of healthcare providers in recommending and educating women, particularly newly arrived migrant women, in their decisions about vaccination during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1591-1598
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2018


  • antenatal vaccination
  • attitudes
  • ethnically diverse
  • influenza
  • knowledge
  • maternal vaccination
  • pertussis
  • vaccination attitudes
  • vaccine acceptance
  • vaccines in pregnancy

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