Vaccine hesitancy has long remained a pervasive and global issue. The unwillingness to receive vaccines despite their availability and accessibility, remains a major global health issue. This phenomenon was especially felt during the COVID-19 pandemic four years ago. Misinformation and limited trust in institutions are main factors that increased vaccine hesitancy during this time. Unfortunately, we are still seeing patterns of vaccine hesitancy today, particularly in pregnant individuals. As winter approaches, 2023 will be the first year that four vaccines are recommended during pregnancy. However, trends already show that fewer pregnant individuals are getting vaccinated. A maternal-fetal medicine specialist at UCLA Health Dr. Neil Silverman, expresses that he has never seen this kind of pushback before the pandemic. Now, he says that all vaccines are lumped together as “bad”. Before COVID-19, the CDC reported that about 17.2% of pregnant people were “very hesistant” about getting a flu shot. Now, that hesitancy has been raised to almost 25%. Luckily, people tend to be more vaccine-hesitant than anti-vaccine. This signals physicians to make sure to properly educate pregnant individuals on the importance of vaccinations for both the health of their newborns and themselves. As we approach a season that is known to be riddled with respiratory illnesses, it is more important than ever to work to dispel myths, build trust, and protect both the mother and child’s well-being.

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Edwards, E., & Weaver, J. (2023, October 17). As the number of vaccines for pregnant women rises, so does vaccine hesitancy. NBC News.
Paper Explores Reasons Behind COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy. (2023, August 24). American Acadmy of Family Physicians.
Razzaghi, H., Kahn, K., Calhoun, K., Garacci, E., Skoff, T., Ellington, S., Jatlaoui, T., & Black, C. (2023). Influenza, Tdap, and COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage and Hesitancy Among Pregnant Women—United States, April 2023. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 72.

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