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Monitoring Flu Vaccination Coverage among Pregnant Women and Health Care Personnel


Highlights

  • Influenza poses additional risks for pregnant women and health care personnel
  • Conducting surveys to track flu vaccination rates can inform response efforts
  • Surveys conducted by Abt Associates over five flu seasons exceeded participation and sample size targets
The Challenge

Pregnant woman and health care personnel (HCP) need flu shots, yet coverage for these groups historically has been below national targets. Without shots, the groups’ health risks soar. Pregnant women who get the flu not only can contract severe diseases but also could harm their pregnancies. The flu can lead to birth defects and miscarriages. HCP can catch the flu from patients, leaving the HCP unable to help others. And the personnel could pass the flu to patients with other ailments, increasing the patients’ health risk.

The Approach

Timely survey data about vaccination coverage for pregnant women and HCP are essential during a flu epidemic to monitor ongoing seasonal vaccination trends and inform prevention and response efforts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put a prioritized tracking vaccination among these groups to reduce morbidity and mortality from the flu.

Abt Associates developed and implemented two separate web surveys of pregnant women and HCP recruited from large, pre-existing, opt-in internet panels. Abt conducted the surveys twice – at the midpoint and near the end – in five flu seasons between 2011 and 2016. These surveys’ primary objectives were to:

  • Get data about flu vaccine coverage and knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and barriers among these two high-priority populations; and
  • Provide the data quickly so that stakeholders and immunization campaigns can adjust methods and interventions to improve vaccination uptake and other disease prevention and control efforts
The Results

For each survey, Abt attained survey completion rates of more than 90 percent among both pregnant women and HCP. We completed data collection, weighting, and descriptive analysis for each flu season’s two surveys quickly. For example, during the 2014-15 season, Abt fielded web surveys in November and April. Surveys met or exceeded sample size targets. Abt delivered tabulated data and weighted SAS datasets within eight days of collection.