Uptake of influenza vaccination in pregnancy amongst Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women: A mixed-methods pilot study

O'Grady, Kerry-Ann, Dunbar, Melissa, Medlin, Linda, Toombs, Maree, Meiklejohn, Judith, McHugh, Lisa, Massey, Peter, Creighton, Amy, & Andrews, Ross M. (2015) Uptake of influenza vaccination in pregnancy amongst Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women: A mixed-methods pilot study. BMC Research Notes, 8, Article number-169.

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  • Influenza infection during pregnancy is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Immunisation against influenza is recommended during pregnancy in several countries but uptake of vaccine is poor. There are limited data on vaccine uptake, and the determinants of vaccination, in Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Islander women during pregnancy. This study aimed to establish an appropriate methodology and collect pilot data on vaccine uptake and attitudes towards, and perceptions of, maternal influenza vaccination in that population in order to inform the development of larger studies.


  • A mixed-methods study comprised of a cross-sectional survey and yarning circles (focus groups) amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women attending two primary health care services. The women were between 28 weeks gestation and less than 16 weeks post-birth. These data were supplemented by data collected in an ongoing national Australian study of maternal influenza vaccination. Aboriginal research officers collected community data and data from the yarning circles which were based on a narrative enquiry framework. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse quantitative data and thematic analyses were applied to qualitative data.


  • Quantitative data were available for 53 women and seven of these women participated in the yarning circles. The proportion of women who reported receipt of an influenza vaccine during their pregnancy was 9/53. Less than half of the participants (21/53) reported they had been offered the vaccine in pregnancy. Forty-three percent reported they would get a vaccine if they became pregnant again. Qualitative data suggested perceived benefits to themselves and their infants were important factors in the decision to be vaccinated but there was insufficient information available to women to make that choice.


  • The rates of influenza immunisation may continue to remain low for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander women during pregnancy. Access to services and recommendations by a health care worker may be factors in the lower rates. Our findings support the need for larger studies directed at monitoring and understanding the determinants of maternal influenza vaccine uptake during pregnancy in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. This research will best be achieved using methods that account for the social and cultural contexts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia.

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ID Code: 83741
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Influenza, Vaccine, Pregnancy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, determinants of uptake
DOI: 10.1186/s13104-015-1147-3
ISSN: 1756-0500
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Authors
Copyright Statement: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Deposited On: 26 Apr 2015 22:26
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2016 04:22

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