Influenza Vaccination during Pregnancy: A Descriptive Study of the Knowledge, Beliefs, and Practices of Mexican Gynecologists and Family Physicians.
Lopatynsky-Reyes EZ., Chacon-Cruz E., Greenberg M., Clemens R., Costa Clemens SA.
BACKGROUND: Influenza in pregnancy is associated with elevated morbidity and mortality. Influenza vaccines are safe and effective in pregnancy. There are no Mexican surveys of physicians on knowledge, beliefs, and practices towards influenza and influenza immunization during pregnancy. METHODS: A 32-question descriptive survey was conducted, addressing the general knowledge of influenza as well as beliefs and practices regarding influenza vaccination during pregnancy among Mexican physicians responsible for prenatal care, traditionally Obstetricians (OBGYNs) and Family Physicians (FPs). RESULTS: A total of 206 surveys were available, 98 (47.6%) from OBGYNs and 108 (52.4%) from FPs, representing an estimated 2472 daily pregnancy consultations. In total, 54 of the 206 respondents (26.2%) were not aware that influenza is more severe during pregnancy, 106 of the 206 respondents (51.5%) ignored the potential side effects of influenza infection on the fetus, and 56.8% did not know when to vaccinate pregnant women. Pregnancy as a risk factor for developing influenza complications was only known by 99 of the 206 respondents (48.1%), and 6.1% believed that vaccination does not confer protection to the fetus. CONCLUSIONS: The current beliefs of Mexican OBGYNs and FPs for both influenza morbidity and mortality, and the importance of influenza vaccination during pregnancy are suboptimal. The drivers of these beliefs should be assessed to improve influenza vaccination recommendations, as knowledge alone is not sufficient.