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Am J Prev Med. 2009 Sep;37(3):231-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.05.019. Epub 2009 Jul 10.

Obstetrician-gynecologists' practices and perceived knowledge regarding immunization.

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Research Department, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Washington, DC 20024, USA.



Obstetrician-gynecologists can play a key role in providing appropriate vaccinations to women of childbearing age.


This study investigated immunization knowledge and practices, and opinions concerning potential barriers to immunization, among obstetrician-gynecologists.


In 2007, surveys were sent to Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network members, a representative sample of practicing Fellows of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; 394 responded (51.2%). Data analysis was completed in 2008.


Most responding obstetrician-gynecologists disagreed that "routine screening for vaccine-preventable diseases falls outside of the routine practice of an ob/gyn." A majority (78.7%) stock and administer at least some vaccines. Among those who stock vaccines, 91.0% stock the human papillomavirus vaccine, and 66.8% stock the influenza vaccine. All other vaccines were stocked by <30% of practices that stock vaccines. A majority of physicians agreed that financial factors (e.g., inadequate reimbursement) were barriers to vaccine administration. Most were aware that the influenza (89.8%); hepatitis B (64.0%); and tetanus, diptheria, pertussis (58.6%) vaccines are safe to administer during pregnancy, and that the measles, mumps, rubella (97.5%); and varicella (92.9%) vaccines are not. Most (84.5%) were in concordance with recommendations that all pregnant women should receive the influenza vaccine. A majority believed their immunization training was less than adequate and believed their practice would benefit from continuing medical education courses.


Immunization is an important part of women's health care and has been, at least partially, incorporated into obstetrician-gynecologist practice. Financial burdens and knowledge regarding vaccine recommendations remain barriers to vaccine administration. Additional training and professional information may benefit obstetric-gynecologic practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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