Volume 129, Issue 8 p. 1342-1351
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Characteristics and perceptions associated with COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy among pregnant and postpartum individuals: A cross-sectional study

Miranda K. Kiefer

Miranda K. Kiefer

Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA

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Rebecca Mehl

Rebecca Mehl

Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA

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Maged M. Costantine

Maged M. Costantine

Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA

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Alyson Johnson

Alyson Johnson

Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA

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Jessica Cohen

Jessica Cohen

Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA

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Taryn L. Summerfield

Taryn L. Summerfield

Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA

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Mark B. Landon

Mark B. Landon

Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA

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Kara M. Rood

Kara M. Rood

Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA

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Kartik K. Venkatesh

Corresponding Author

Kartik K. Venkatesh

Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Correspondence

Kartik K. Venkatesh, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine, The Ohio State University, 395 West 12th Avenue, Floor 5, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.

Email: [email protected]

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First published: 01 February 2022
Citations: 47

Funding information

Dr Venkatesh was supported by the Care Innovation and Community Improvement programme at The Ohio State University.

Abstract

Objective

To assess the frequency and associated characteristics of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among pregnant and postpartum individuals.

Design

Cross-sectional study.

Setting

Prenatal care at a single academic tertiary care centre.

Population

Pregnant and postpartum individuals enrolled in prenatal care at a single academic tertiary care centre from 22 March 2021 to 2 April 2021, concurrent with state guidelines recommending COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy.

Methods

We used logistic regression to identify characteristics associated with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, and adjusted for: age, parity, race, trimester of pregnancy, and chronic comorbidities.

Main outcome measures

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, defined as uncertainty or refusal of the vaccine, despite the availability of vaccine services, in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on vaccine hesitancy.

Results

Of the 485 individuals screened and approached, 456 (94%) enrolled and completed the survey (435/456, 95% pregnant). The frequency of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy was 46% (95% CI 41%–51%). Sociodemographic characteristics, including non-Hispanic Black race, younger age, lower education, public health insurance receipt, parity >1, and reported substance use, were associated with a higher odds of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, but not clinical risk conditions. Individuals who had a family or friend vaccinated for COVID-19, prior or planned vaccination for tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) and/or influenza, and who perceived that vaccination benefited the baby were less likely to express COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.

Conclusions

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy was frequent among pregnant and postpartum individuals. Those who may face barriers to accessing healthcare services were more likely to report vaccine hesitancy. These results can inform interventions to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake in pregnancy.

Tweetable abstract

COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy is frequent among pregnant and postpartum individuals, and those who face barriers to accessing healthcare services are more likely to report COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.

CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

None declared. Completed disclosure of interests form available to view online as supporting information.

DATA AVAILABILITY STATEMENT

Data may be available upon request to the corresponding author.