Assessing the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Pregnant Women’s Attitudes towards Childhood Vaccinations: A Cross-Sectional Study

Paola Arcaro, Lorenza Nachira, Fabio Pattavina, Enrica Campo, Rossella Mancini, Domenico Pascucci, Gianfranco Damiani, Brigida Carducci, Antonietta Spadea, Antonio Lanzone, Stefania Bruno, Patrizia Laurenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has globally disrupted immunisation practices, impacting vulnerable populations such as pregnant women (PW), who harbour concerns about future children’s immunisations. This study aimed to assess the pandemic’s impact on PW’s attitudes towards childhood vaccinations. During three consecutive flu seasons from October 2019 to January 2022, a cross-sectional study was conducted in a large Italian teaching hospital using a questionnaire. The chi-square test was performed to compare each season. Across the 2019–2020 to 2021–2022 seasons, course attendance by PW surged from 105 to 340. Significant shifts in vaccination intentions were noted, including a 7.5% decrease in measles vaccination intent (p = 0.02) and a 10% decrease in that of pertussis (p = 0.004) from 2019–2020 to 2020–2021. While perceived contagion risk decreased, disease severity perceptions increased, with few significant differences. A statistically significant reduction was noted in the proportion of participants suspecting economic motives behind NHS workers’ promotion of childhood vaccinations. Furthermore, the pandemic period saw an increase in the perceived utility of non-institutional websites and the advice of physicians outside the NHS. These findings will help develop evidence-based, tailored interventions and communication strategies to address vaccine hesitancy and ensure optimal vaccination coverage among children born during and after the pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalVaccines
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • vaccination
  • COVID-19
  • pregnant

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