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Matern Child Health J. 2012 Dec;16(9):1743-7. doi: 10.1007/s10995-011-0936-0.

Missed opportunities: a national survey of obstetricians about attitudes on maternal and infant immunization.

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  • 1Emory Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


The recent reoccurrence of several vaccine-preventable diseases demonstrates the need for new techniques to promote childhood vaccination. Many mothers make decisions regarding vaccination of their children during pregnancy. As a result, obstetricians have a unique opportunity to influence maternal decisions on this crucial component of child health. Our objective was to understand OB/GYNs' attitudes, beliefs, and current practices toward providing vaccinations to pregnant patients and providing information about routine childhood immunizations during standard prenatal care. We surveyed OB/GYNs in the United States about their vaccination practices and perceptions during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak. Most (84%) respondents indicated their practice would be administering H1N1 vaccines to pregnant patients. While a majority (98%) of responding providers felt childhood vaccination is important, relatively few (47%) felt that they could influence mothers' vaccination choices for their children. Discussion of routine childhood immunization between obstetricians and their patients is an area for future improvements in childhood vaccination.

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