Antenatal vaccination against Group B streptococcus: attitudes of pregnant women and healthcare professionals in the UK towards participation in clinical trials and routine implementation.
McQuaid F., Jones C., Stevens Z., Meddaugh G., O'Sullivan C., Donaldson B., Hughes R., Ford C., Finn A., Faust SN., Gbesemete D., Bedford H., Hughes S., Varghese AS., Heath PT., Snape MD.
INTRODUCTION: Maternal vaccination is increasingly part of antenatal care in the UK and worldwide. Trials of Group B streptococcus vaccines are ongoing. This study investigated the attitudes of pregnant women and healthcare professionals towards antenatal vaccination, both in routine care and a clinical trial setting. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Survey of 269 pregnant women, 273 midwives/obstetricians and 97 neonatal doctors across seven sites in the UK assessing attitudes towards antenatal vaccinations, knowledge of Group B streptococcus, a hypothetical Group B streptococcus vaccine, and participation in clinical vaccine trials. RESULTS: 68% of pregnant women intended to receive a vaccine during their current pregnancy (183/269) and 43% (of all respondents, 115/269) reported they would be very/fairly likely to accept a vaccine against Group B streptococcus despite only 29% (55/269) knowing what Group B streptococcus was. This increased to 69% after additional information about Group B streptococcus was provided. Twenty-four percent of pregnant women reported they would be likely to take part in a clinical trial of an unlicensed Group B streptococcus vaccine. Fifty-nine percent of maternity professionals and 74% of neonatologists would be likely to recommend participation in a Group B streptococcus vaccine trial to women, with the vast majority (>99%) willing to be involved in such a study. Incentives to take part cited by pregnant women included extra antenatal scans and the opportunity to be tested for Group B streptococcus. CONCLUSION: Pregnant women and healthcare professionals were open to the idea of an antenatal Group B streptococcus vaccine and involvement in clinical trials of such a vaccine. Education and support from midwives would be key to successful implementation.