Although benefits of vaccinations have been extensively demonstrated, poor knowledge of the population has resulted in non-optimal vaccine coverage as a result of the hesitancy and negative perception of many parents toward vaccination.
Materials and Methods
To assess the impact of a course on the knowledge and attitudes of future mothers on vaccination, 214 pregnant women participated in a research project undertaken at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of the Careggi University Hospital in Florence (Italy). This involved completion of anonymous questionnaires administered before and after the intervention. A descriptive and statistical analysis was carried out on the results of the collected data by performing comparative evaluations of the responses obtained before and after the intervention.
There was good adherence to the initiative (98%): the sample population was initially not hostile to vaccines, albeit poorly or insufficiently informed (43%). The educational intervention had a positive impact, especially as a vaccine information tool and for correctly addressing the vaccine hesitancy. After the intervention, women who considered their level of knowledge about vaccines as poor or insufficient were reduced by 30% and the "hesitant" ones were reduced with respect to all aspects of the study, especially about the decision to be vaccinated during pregnancy.
Hesitancy finds its roots in the absence of accurate information. Healthcare professionals need to improve their communication skills. Competent education delivered during pregnancy, when women are more receptive, may have a highly positive impact. These observations will have to be considered in the planning of delivery preparation courses.
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