HealthDay News — Pregnancy is an important time for educating about infant immunization, according to a study published online August 18 in Pediatrics.
The research included information gathered from 2009 to 2010 from 6,182 pregnant women in New Zealand. More than half of the women (56%) received no information at all about childhood vaccines while they were pregnant. About a third (30%) received only positive information about vaccines, while 4% received solely negative information. Ten percent received both negative and positive input.
The researchers found that 71% of infants whose mothers received no vaccine information in pregnancy were given their vaccines on time. Seventy-three percent of infants whose mothers only got positive information had their babies vaccinated on time. But only 57% of babies whose mothers heard only negative information got their vaccines on schedule. If women were given both good and bad information, 61% of their babies were immunized on time.
“Most said they received only encouraging information from health care providers, while the main sources of discouraging information were family and friends and media,” study coauthor Cameron Grant, MD, PhD, head of the department of pediatrics, child and youth health at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, told HealthDay. “But it was concerning that one in six women who recalled receiving discouraging information, identified health care providers as a source of that information. Health professionals caring for pregnant women have a very important role to play in determining the immunization intentions of these future parents, and in promoting infant immunization.”