Vaccine decision-making begins in pregnancy: Correlation between vaccine concerns, intentions and maternal vaccination with subsequent childhood vaccine uptake

Margie H Danchin, J. Costa-Pinto, K. Atwell, H. Willaby, Kathleen E. Wiley, Monsurul Hoq, J. Leask, Kirsten P Perrett, Jacinta O'Keefe, M. L. Giles, H. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Maternal and childhood vaccine decision-making begins prenatally. Amongst pregnant Australian women we aimed to ascertain vaccine information received, maternal immunisation uptake and attitudes and concerns regarding childhood vaccination. We also aimed to determine any correlation between a) intentions and concerns regarding childhood vaccination, (b) concerns about pregnancy vaccination, (c) socioeconomic status (SES) and (d) uptake of influenza and pertussis vaccines during pregnancy and routine vaccines during childhood. Methods: Women attending public antenatal clinics were recruited in three Australian states. Surveys were completed on iPads. Follow-up phone surveys were done three to six months post delivery, and infant vaccination status obtained via the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR). Results: Between October 2015 and March 2016, 975 (82%) of 1184 mothers consented and 406 (42%) agreed to a follow up survey, post delivery. First-time mothers (445; 49%) had significantly more vaccine concerns in pregnancy and only 73% had made a decision about childhood vaccination compared to 89% of mothers with existing children (p-value. <. 0.001). 66% of mothers reported receiving enough information during pregnancy on childhood vaccination. In the post delivery survey, 46% and 82% of mothers reported receiving pregnancy influenza and pertussis vaccines respectively. The mother's degree of vaccine hesitancy and two attitudinal factors were correlated with vaccine uptake post delivery. There was no association between reported maternal vaccine uptake or SES and childhood vaccine uptake. Conclusion: First time mothers are more vaccine hesitant and undecided about childhood vaccination, and only two thirds of all mothers believed they received enough information during pregnancy. New interventions to improve both education and communication on childhood and maternal vaccines, delivered by midwives and obstetricians in the Australian public hospital system, may reduce vaccine hesitancy for all mothers in pregnancy and post delivery, particularly first-time mothers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6473-6479
Number of pages7
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2018


  • Childhood vaccination
  • Maternal vaccination
  • Pregnancy
  • Vaccine attitudes, behaviours and concerns
  • Vaccine decision-making
  • Vaccine uptake

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