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Half of all Pregnant Women Received Flu Vaccine According to New Survey

Percent of pregnant women vaccinated varies based on race  
BETHESDA, MD — Just over 50 percent of pregnant women received an influenza vaccine during the 2014-2015 influenza season.  In addition, the number of black women receiving vaccinations still lags behind their white counterparts.  These are two of the main findings in a survey conducted by Abt Global for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 
The survey of the 2014-15 flu season also found that:
  • 39 percent of black women surveyed received vaccinations;
  • 52 percent of white women surveyed received vaccinations; and,
  • The most common reason women reported for not receiving vaccination was the belief that the vaccine was not effective in preventing the flu.
“The gap in vaccination rates between black and white women is cause for concern,” said study co-author and Abt Global Senior Fellow Deborah Klein Walker.  “It points to the need for greater efforts to better understand the causes behind this critical health disparity.”
The survey found that, across all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, women who had a clinician both recommend and offer vaccination had substantially higher vaccination coverage than women who received only a recommendation or no recommendation at all.  In addition, the most common reason women reported for receiving vaccination was to protect their infant from the flu.
“The flu vaccine is an important tool in protecting the health of both mother and child,” Walker said.  “Increasing our knowledge of who among pregnant women is getting vaccinated, who isn’t, and why can help shape healthcare policies and practices that seek to reduce the risk of complications and hospitalizations by improving access to vaccinations.”
The survey has been conducted for the past five flu seasons, and the vaccination rate among pregnant women during the 2014-15 influenza season (50.3 percent) was similar to the rate during the 2013-14 season (52.2 percent) and the 2012-13 season (50.5 percent).  
Read the report about influenza vaccination coverage among pregnant woman in the U.S. during the 2014-15 influenza season.
Health Care Personnel and the Influenza Vaccine
Abt also conducted a related survey on behalf of the CDC, which looked at vaccination coverage among health care personnel (HCP).  The survey found that approximately 77 percent of HCP received the flu vaccine during the 2014-15 season as compared to 75 percent in the 2013-14 season. 
Of HCP, those working in hospitals had the highest rates of vaccination (90.4 percent), while those working in long-term care settings had the lowest (63.9 percent).
The survey noted that making vaccines available at the workplace, and at no cost to the employee may be an effective strategy in increasing vaccination coverage among HCP.
Read the report about influenza vaccination coverage among healthcare personnel in the U.S. during the 2014-15 influenza season.
About Abt Global
Abt Global is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Global is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.
David L. Allen
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