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Immunization is an important piece of overall health care for mothers and their infants. Pregnant women and their unborn babies are especially vulnerable to certain vaccine preventable diseases, like influenza and pertussis. Receiving vaccinations against influenza and pertussis during pregnancy helps mothers protect babies until they are old enough to receive a vaccination of their own by passing on the mother’s antibodies. There are many factors influencing successful maternal vaccination, including: attitudes towards vaccination, understanding the risks and benefits of vaccines, access to health care, and a strong provider recommendation.

The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that pregnant women receive an influenza vaccination every year, and a pertussis vaccine with each pregnancy. Vaccination rates for both influenza and pertussis fall below national objectives for pregnant women. Healthy People 2020’s target for pregnant women vaccinated against seasonal influenza is 80%, but there are no targets for pertussis.1 In the 2014-15 influenza season, only 50% of pregnant women received a seasonal influenza vaccine.2 Estimates of vaccination coverage against pertussis in pregnant women range from as high as 29% to as low as 6.2%.3 These low rates of vaccination against influenza and pertussis leave many women and their children vulnerable to disease. Immunization Programs can promote the vaccination of pregnant women through both provider and patient education initiatives.  



Idaho: Vaccines in Pregnancy Poster

The Idaho immunization program developed a one-page poster highlighting the reasons for pregnant women to receive Tdap and influenza vaccines.


NEVADA:  Cocooning Program

Tdap vaccine is provided at no cost to participating birthing hospitals and OB/GYNs to vaccinate pregnant or newly delivered mothers and one additional family member.



TEXAS: OB/GYN Education Awareness Campaign

The Texas immunization program conducted a multi-faceted outreach campaign targeted to OB/GYNs and pregnant women regarding the importance and safety of Tdap vaccination.

1“Immunization and Infectious Disease Objectives.” Healthy People 2020. US Department of Health and Human Services, 2014. Web.
2 “CDC. Influenza vaccination coverage among pregnant women— United States, 2014–15 influenza season.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 64.36 (2015): 1000-5. Print.
3 “The National Vaccine Advisory Committee: Reducing Patient and Provider Barriers to Maternal Immunizations.” Public Health Reports 130 (2015): 10-42. Print.
4 2015 AIM Annual Survey, 63 of 64 state/city/territorial Immunization Programs completed the survey that was administered online April - June 2015.


Chapter 7 Resources

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
AIM Survey Data: IP Communication w/ pregnant wome PDF (74.6 KB) Administration 12/12/2016
Immunization For Women Link  more ] Administration 12/12/2016
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