BACKGROUND: Pregnancy and early infancy are considered to be the vulnerable phases for severe influenza infection causing morbidity and mortality. Despite WHO recommendations, influenza is not included in the immunization programs of many low- and middle-income countries. This systematic review is aimed at identifying barriers and facilitators for maternal influenza vaccination amongst the perinatal women and their health care providers in low- and middle-income countries. METHODS: We selected 11 studies from the 1669 records identified from PubMed, CABI, EMBASE and Global Health databases. Studies related to both pandemic and routine influenza vaccination and studies conducted amongst women in the antenatal as well as postnatal period were included. Both qualitative, quantitative, cross-sectional and interventional studies were included. RESULTS: Knowledge about influenza disease, perception of the disease severity during pregnancy and risk to the foetus/newborn and perceived benefits of influenza vaccination during pregnancy were associated with increased uptake of influenza vaccination during pregnancy. Recommendation by health care provider, vaccination in previous pregnancy and availability of vaccine in public health system facilitated vaccine uptake. High parity, higher education, vaccination in the later months of pregnancy, less than 4 antenatal visits, concerns about vaccine safety and negative publicity in media were identified as barriers for influenza vaccination. Lack of government recommendation, concerns about safety and effectiveness and distrust in manufacturer were the barriers for the healthcare providers to recommend vaccination. CONCLUSION: While availability of influenza vaccine in public health system can be a key to the success of vaccine implementation program, increasing the awareness about need and benefits of maternal influenza vaccination amongst pregnant women as well as their health care providers is crucial to improve the acceptance of maternal influenza vaccination in low and middle-income countries.
- All age groups
- Pregnant women
- Healthcare workers
- Low and Middle Income Countries