Maternal vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic:A qualitative interview study with UK pregnant women

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There is suboptimal uptake of recommended maternal vaccines (pertussis and influenza) during pregnancy in the UK. The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted healthcare services, and potentially vaccine coverage, and brought the need for new vaccines to be tested and rolled out.

To explore: i) the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on pregnant women's access to, and attitudes towards, routine maternal vaccines and; ii) women's attitudes towards testing Covid-19 vaccines on pregnant women and their personal willingness to take part in such a trial.

Qualitative interview study with pregnant women in the Bristol and surrounding area (UK).

Semi-structured telephone/videoconference interviews were conducted (following a topic guide), transcribed verbatim and subjected to thematic analysis.

Thirty-one pregnant women (selected for demographic range) were interviewed in April/May 2020. Participants felt the pandemic had elevated the importance of routine maternal vaccines, though women were concerned about safety management around appointment attendance. Women were wary of receiving a new Covid-19 vaccine, with most perceiving it as riskier than Covid-19 itself.

It is important to maximise the safety and efficiency of maternity appointments to encourage uptake of routine maternal vaccines, and to communicate this well. For pregnant women to gain a new vaccine or participate in a vaccine trial, they need to be convinced that the risk posed by the virus is greater than any risk of receiving a new vaccine.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103062
Early online date11 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, University of Bristol, the Wellcome Trust ISSF3 grant 204813/Z/16/Z and the Economic and Social Research Council ES/T501840/1 and with funding from QR SPF (Quality-Related Strategic Priorities Fund), UKRI Research England. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission. The funding bodies were not involved in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)

Structured keywords

  • Covid19


  • Pandemics
  • Covid-19
  • Pregnant women
  • Vaccines
  • Qualitative research
  • Maternal Health Services


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