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A multi-country investigation of influenza vaccine coverage in pregnant individuals, 2010-2016

Irving SA, Ball SW, Booth SM, Regan AK, Naleway AL, Buchan SA, Katz MA, Effler PV, Svenson LW, Kwong JC, Feldman BS, Klein NP, Chung H, Simmonds K; PREVENT study team. Vaccine. 2021; 39(52):7598-605. Epub 2021 Nov 18. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.11.018


Background — Many countries recommend influenza vaccination during pregnancy. Despite this recommendation, influenza vaccine among pregnant individuals remains under-utilized and uptake varies by country. Factors associated with influenza vaccine uptake during pregnancy may also vary across countries.

Methods — As members of the Pregnancy Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network (PREVENT), five sites from four countries (Australia, Canada, Israel, and the United States) retrospectively identified cohorts of individuals aged 18-50 years who were pregnant during pre-defined influenza seasons. Influenza vaccine coverage estimates were calculated for the 2010-11 through 2015-16 northern hemisphere and the 2012 through 2015 southern hemisphere influenza seasons, by site. Sites used electronic health records, administrative data, and immunization registries to collect information on pregnancy, health history, demographics, and vaccination status. Each season, vaccination coverage was calculated as the percentage of individuals who received influenza vaccine among the individuals in the cohort that season. Characteristics were compared between those vaccinated and unvaccinated, by site.

Results — More than two million pregnancies were identified over the study period. Influenza vaccination coverage ranged from 5% to 58% across sites and seasons. Coverage increased consistently over the study period at three of the five sites (Western Australia, Alberta, and Israel), and was highest in all seasons at the United States study site (39-58%). Associations with vaccination varied by country and across seasons; where available, parity >0, presence of a high-risk medical condition, and urban residence were consistently associated with increased likelihood of vaccination.

Conclusions — Though increasing, uptake of influenza vaccine among pregnant individuals remains lower than recommended. Coverage varied substantially by country, suggesting an ongoing need for targeted strategies to improve influenza vaccine uptake in this population.

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