Thursday, November 29, 2012

Obstetricians' Attitudes on Maternal and Infant Immunization - A survey in USA

Missed Opportunities


The recent reoccurrence of several vaccine-preventable diseases demonstrates the need for new techniques to promote childhood vaccination. Many mothers make decisions regarding vaccination of their children during pregnancy. As a result, obstetricians have a unique opportunity to influence maternal decisions on this crucial component of child health. Our objective was to understand OB/GYNs' attitudes, beliefs, and current practices toward providing vaccinations to pregnant patients and providing information about routine childhood immunizations during standard prenatal care. We surveyed OB/GYNs in the United States about their vaccination practices and perceptions during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak. Most (84%) respondents indicated their practice would be administering H1N1 vaccines to pregnant patients. While a majority (98%) of responding providers felt childhood vaccination is important, relatively few (47%) felt that they could influence mothers' vaccination choices for their children. Discussion of routine childhood immunization between obstetricians and their patients is an area for future improvements in childhood vaccination.
Read the entire article at Medscape
Comments: What I find fascinating is the interplay between Ob/gyn and the Pediatrician that is being increasingly realized in the West. While problems exist, they are taking steps to try to come together in the best interests of the patients. Here in India though, the situation is unfortunately quite different. There is hardly any professional interaction between Pediatricians & Ob/gyn. There are many reasons for this, including problems related to fees sharing (many Ob/gyn still deliver without pediatric support, and only call the pediatrician when the child is born distressed after birth). Other problems include lack of updated knowledge regarding newer recommendations for vaccines like Influenza in pregnancy, or cervical cancer vaccination. Finally, in smaller towns, many Ob/gyn also do the pediatric vaccination & OPD consultations themselves, thus creating further conflict of interest. Of course, I am speaking predominantly from a pediatrician perspective, but I am sure most doctors would agree that further cooperation would be in the best interest of the patients. Perhaps our professional bodies, FOGSI & IAP in India, can take further steps in this regard.

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