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J Reprod Med. 2014 Jul-Aug;59(7-8):401-8.

Women's health providers as vaccine providers in public health emergencies.



To understand women's health providers' vaccine practices and challenges to administering vaccines during public health emergencies.


We surveyed a sample of women's health providers in Washington and California in 2010-2011 about their vaccine practices, perceptions, and emergency preparedness activities related to the 2009-2010 influenza campaign and ongoing pertussis outbreaks.


Of the 215 practices surveyed, 152 (70.7%) completed the survey. Most (83.8%) practices considered it standard of care to ask about vaccines and to require, encourage, or offer vaccines to their staff (84.8%). However, only a minority of practices have participated in emergency preparedness exercises (19.3%), actual emergency responses (4.6%), or medical surge capacity initiatives (1.3%). Notably, the challenges and barriers to providing vaccinations in a public health emergency were not practice-level factors such as storage space, staff illness, or reporting, but instead were factors such as vaccine supply, billing, and public interest.


Women's health providers have generally not been included in preparedness and emergency response activities despite their continuing vaccination efforts. Focusing on women's health providers' involvement in preparedness activities may improve opportunities to vaccinate an important high-risk group, especially in public health emergencies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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