Immunization for the Expectant mother
First-time mothers face an enormous transition to parenthood as they are first excited, but usually overwhelmed with the expectations of how to care for their infants. Parents want the best and no transition is more important than what to expect at each visit, how to monitor the development of their child and the health and safety of their newborn including vaccines.
Interaction with new parents and flexibility of the doctor on timing of vaccination
In general, 75% of new expectant mothers plan to have their child vaccinated based on childhood immunization schedules. Consistent with the belief is that expectant mothers regard a doctor’s willingness to be flexible with childhood immunization schedule as an important factor in selecting a pediatrician or family physician. (Weiner_Vaccine_2015_33 Suppl 4 Childhood immunizations: First-time expectant mothers’ knowledge, beliefs, intentions, and behaviors.)
A mother’s perception on vaccination is influence by the role of the physician. Confidence in vaccination is influenced by maternal education, gender of the parents and positively associated with the trust in the physician. Mother’s were more likely to be positive with vaccination.
Communization of both vaccine-related benefits and risk is crucial to maintain trust in vaccines. Parents who are only informed on the benefits may presume that one-sided information has been provided and continue their search on non-reliable sources of information.
Creating opportunities for parent empowerment is an effective method for creating an environment of trust for vaccinations. Asked open ended questions to motivate the parents to convey about their concerns and build trust between the physician and the parents. The role of the physician is to focus on increasing the parent’s knowledge and understanding of vaccination and inquired about their misconceptions or emotions toward vaccination.
The Influenza vaccine is recommended for all children less than 5 years of age especially less than 2 years of age and the elderly over 65 years of age. Pregnant women and women up to 2 weeks post partum should also get the flu vaccine. Residents of long-term care facilities are at high risk and should also receive the vaccination. Other high risk conditions such as asthma, diabetes and chronic kidney, liver and metabolic disease should receive the vaccination.
Who should get the HPV vaccine. All girls and boys who are 11 or 12 years old should get the recommended series of HPV vaccine. Young women can get HPV vaccine through the age of 26 and young men can get vaccinated through the age of 21. The vaccine is also recommended for gay and bisexual men through the age 26. Lastly, young men with weakened immune systems through age 26 should get the vaccine.
The factors that play a role in vaccine hesitancy are knowledge & information, past experiences, risk perception & trust, subjective norm, religious & moral convictions and perceived importance of vaccination. These factors are involved in the individual decision making about vaccine and physicians need to communicate their medical and epidemiological knowledge of vaccine to make the right decision for the parents.