Inequities Increase In Vaccination Of Pregnant Women

Recent research adds to alarm bells that pregnant people
are not getting vaccinated in big enough numbers. Pregnancy
puts you at greater risk of disease making vaccination even
more important for both you and your baby.

COVID has
reminded us time and time again that vaccination is critical
to keeping our communities safe from preventable infection,
disease and death. It is urgent that we do more to support
communities that are vulnerable due to inequity, poor
health, or socio-economic disadvantage.

Right now, New
Zealand has too many pregnant people in hospital with COVID
disease who have not been vaccinated even though there are
no safety concerns for vaccination in pregnancy. People who
are pregnant are at high risk from COVID disease.
Vaccination provides good protection against severe disease.
that they are at higher risk of disease, and vaccination is
safe and effective.

New Zealand researchers Leah
Pointon, Anna Howe, Matthew Hobbs, Janine Paynter, Natalie
Gauld, Nikki Turner and Esther Willing have been looking
into vaccination coverage in pregnant New Zealand
women.

“The team discovered that between 2013 and 2018
maternal vaccination coverage increased for pertussis and
influenza. Despite this, coverage remains suboptimal, and
existing ethnic and deprivation inequities increased,” says
Professor Nikki Turner.

“The work the team has done
shows that there is an urgent need to focus on equity, to
engage and support ethnic communities by creating genuinely
accessible, culturally appropriate health
services.”

Dr Anna Howe, research and policy analyst
says “our study indicates that physical access to a GP has
little effect on increasing maternal coverage, despite GPs
being the almost exclusive providers of maternal pertussis
vaccinations and the lead provider of maternal influenza
vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccination programme has lead the
way for novel solutions to get coverage in hard-to-reach
populations and provides an opportunity to create a more
responsive service with a greater focus on equity for
maternal vaccinations.”

Evidence of suboptimal
maternal vaccination coverage in pregnant New Zealand women
and increasing inequity over time: A nationwide
retrospective cohort study, has been published in Vaccine,
Elsevier’s vaccinology journal this month.

You can
read it here: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1egSA,60n7kLK0

© Scoop Media

Support the news you love

Scoop has been a champion of independent journalism and open publishing for over 20 years. It stands for informing New Zealanders through straight-talking independent journalism, and publishing news from politics and a huge range of sectors. Now, more than ever, sustainable financial support will help to keep these vital and participatory media services running.

Find out more and join us:

Become a member
Get our free pānui