An evaluation of the 2016 influenza vaccination in pregnancy campaign in NSW, Australia

Samantha Carlson, Aditi Dey, Frank Beard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives and importance: Influenza vaccination in pregnancy has been funded under the Australian National Immunisation Program since 2010, yet uptake is suboptimal. We evaluated the 2016 New South Wales (NSW) Health influenza vaccination in pregnancy public information campaign. Study type: Mixed methods. Methods: We searched Factiva, ProQuest Global Newsstream and Google News for news articles relevant to the 2016 campaign. We reviewed information provided by NSW Health about NSW Health-initiated social media activity relevant to the campaign, and also assessed engagement with campaign messages using publicly available information. Between September and October 2016, we surveyed pregnant women at the antenatal clinic of a large tertiary hospital in Sydney to estimate influenza vaccine uptake during pregnancy, identify key information sources, and understand knowledge and attitudes regarding influenza vaccination. Results: Thirty-one news articles were published in traditional media between April and August 2016. A single campaign advertisement on the NSW Health Facebook page had 449 609 impressions, with a click-through rate to the NSW Health website of 0.4%. Sixteen sponsored articles were posted on Facebook and six sponsored images were posted on Instagram, with relatively limited engagement. A total of 71 pregnant women participated in the survey. Of these, 90% were aware that pregnant women can receive an influenza vaccine during pregnancy, with 54% reporting that they had been vaccinated in their current pregnancy. Fifty-five per cent had read a brochure about influenza vaccination in pregnancy. Many women, particularly those who were unvaccinated, were uncertain about the effectiveness and safety of influenza vaccination in pregnancy. Conclusion: Both traditional and social media platforms can be used to promote influenza vaccination for pregnant women, although there are challenges to achieving high reach of messages via both methods. Self-reported vaccination coverage in our study was higher than previous NSW estimates, but still suboptimal. Further efforts are required to understand and address provider and patient attitudes and concerns about influenza vaccination in pregnancy, especially regarding effectiveness and safety. Our findings and recommendations should be of interest to healthcare providers and public health agencies Australia-wide, to inform campaigns and programs to improve uptake of antenatal influenza vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere29121908
JournalPublic Health Research and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'An evaluation of the 2016 influenza vaccination in pregnancy campaign in NSW, Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this