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Texts Don't Promote Flu Vaccination During Pregnancy

WEDNESDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Text messages encouraging pregnant women to get an influenza vaccination are ineffective, according to a study published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. A related study in the same journal examines factors predicting influenza vaccination among pregnant women.

In the first study, Michelle Henninger, PhD, from Kaiser Permanente Northwest, in Portland, Ore., and colleagues surveyed 552 pregnant women who had not already received the influenza vaccine during the 2010 to 2011 influenza season regarding knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about vaccination. The researchers found that vaccination was predicted by trust in recommended guidelines, perceived sensitivity to influenza, perceived seriousness of influenza, perceived regret about not getting vaccinated, and concerns about vaccine safety.

In the second study, Michelle H. Moniz, MD, from Magee-Women's Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues randomly assigned 216 pregnant women at less than 28 weeks' gestation who had not already received the influenza vaccine to 12 weekly text messages encouraging general pregnancy health or texts encouraging general pregnancy health plus influenza vaccination. The researchers found that the influenza vaccine rate was similar in the two groups, at 31 percent for the general pregnancy health group and 33 percent for the influenza vaccination group.

"Text messaging prompts were not effective at increasing influenza vaccination rates among a low-income, urban, ambulatory obstetric population," Moniz and colleagues conclude.

Two authors from the first study disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract - Henninger
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Abstract - Moniz
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