Pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are at particular risk of severe illness and high attack rates of influenza infection. In Australia, routine seasonal influenza vaccination is currently strongly recommended for all pregnant women and women planning pregnancy, and is provided free of charge for all pregnant women. We sought to determine vaccination coverage, describe the trends and characteristics associated with influenza vaccine uptake and determine the validity of self-reported influenza vaccination in a population of Indigenous pregnant women who were participants of a vaccine trial, prior to and during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Vaccine coverage over the study period was 16% (35/214), increasing from 2.2% (3/136) in the period preceding the pandemic (2006-2009) to 41% (32/78) in the intra-pandemic period (2009-2010). Self-report was not a reliable estimate of verified vaccination status in the pre-pandemic period (κ=0.38) but was reliable in the intra-pandemic period (κ=0.91). None of the socio-demographic characteristics that we examined were associated with vaccine uptake. Whilst the increase in maternal influenza coverage rates are encouraging and indicate a willingness of pregnant Indigenous women to be vaccinated, the majority of women remained unvaccinated. Activities to improve influenza vaccination coverage for Indigenous pregnant women and monitor vaccine uptake remain a priority.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Communicable Diseases Intelligence Quarterly Report|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Sep 2016|