Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Factors Influencing Women’s Decisions about Having the Pertussis Containing Vaccine during Pregnancy

Linda Hill , Beverley Burrell , Tony Walls


BACKGROUND: New Zealand experienced a major epidemic of pertussis from September 2011 to January 2014. In response to this epidemic, pertussis-containing (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap)) vaccine was funded for pregnant women 28-38 weeks’ gestation. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the factors influencing women’s decisions regarding having the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy. METHODS: A retrospective, self-reported postal survey of early post-partum women in Canterbury June-October 2013 that assessed participant knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and influencing factors about Tdap vaccine. RESULTS: Of the 1883 surveys sent, 596 women completed the survey. The main factors influencing women’s decisions to accept the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy were: the desire to protect their baby, a health professional’s recommendation, the threat of pertussis in the community, and the fact that the vaccine was administered at no cost. Conversely, for women who did not receive the Tdap vaccine, the main factors which influenced their decisions were; they did not know the vaccine was available, fear of side effects, and doubt regarding vaccine effectiveness. CONCLUSION: A clear health professional recommendation for maternal Tdap immunisation was a significant factor influencing pregnant women and would most likely improve the uptake of the vaccine.

HC17040  Accepted 26 October 2017

© CSIRO 2017