Standard care for pregnant women includes universal screening for hepatitis B, and administration of influenza and pertussis vaccination to women and hepatitis B infant vaccination. This study explored how perinatal services relating to the prevention of these vaccine-preventable diseases are delivered to women and their infants in Victoria, Australia.
Two online surveys investigated service delivery for the prevention of influenza, pertussis and hepatitis B to identify barriers to optimal care during January-June 2021; (1) The Birthing Hospitals Survey captured facility-level information about service delivery for influenza and pertussis vaccination, and interventions to prevent mother-to-child-transmission of chronic hepatitis B (CHB); and (2) The Healthcare Providers Survey captured individual staff perceptions and knowledge in community and hospital settings.
Thirty-four hospital unit managers (61%) completed The Birthing Hospitals Survey . One-hundred and forty participants completed The Healthcare Providers Survey . Half of the birthing hospitals provided influenza (50%) and pertussis (53%) vaccinations to pregnant women, and 53% provided an infectious diseases service for women with CHB. Barriers to optimal care delivery included reliance on pregnant woman's self-report to confirm influenza, pertussis vaccination and CHB status, lack of standardised reporting, inadequate workforce training, poor communication between services, and lack of guideline-based clinical care for mothers with CHB and their infants. Three hospitals reported 'stock out' of hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG).
Coordinated and standardised system and clinical care improvements are required to provide equitable care for pregnant women and their infants, including training and education for healthcare providers, improving data capture and communication among health services.