Maternal vaccination in uganda: Exploring pregnant women, community leaders and healthcare workers’ perceptions

Phiona Nalubega, Emilie Karafillakis, Lydia Atuhaire, Pamela Akite, Flavia Zalwango, Tracey Chantler, Madeleine Cochet, Janet Seeley, Kirsty Le Doare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: We investigated pregnant women, community leaders, healthcare workers (HCWs) and programme managers’ perceptions of maternal vaccination in Kampala, Uganda. Methods: We conducted focus group discussions, key informant interviews and in-depth discussions with HCWs (3), community leaders (3), pregnant women (8) and programme managers (10) between November 2019 and October 2020. Data were analysed thematically. Results: Pregnant women, community leaders and some HCWs had limited maternal immunisation knowledge. There was confusion over what constitutes a vaccine. Pregnant women may not receive vaccines because of mistrust of government; use of expired vaccines; reliance on traditional medicine; religious beliefs; fear of side effects; HCWs attitudes; and logistical issues. The key facilitators of maternal vaccination were a desire to prevent diseases, positive influences from HCWs and information about vaccine side effects. Community leaders and some pregnant women highlighted that pregnant women do not make decisions about maternal vaccination independently and are influenced by different individuals, including other pregnant women, older people, partners, relatives (parents), community leaders, HCWs and the government. Conclusions: Our results indicate that public health messaging should target all community members, including partners and parents of pregnant women as well as HCWs, to improve knowledge of and confidence in maternal vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number552
JournalVaccines
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Maternal vaccines
  • Vaccine confidence
  • Vaccine hesitancy
  • Vaccine safety

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