Wednesday, December 8

Benefits of flu vaccination in pregnant women

Sergio Montero, José Martín Botella, Antonio J. Felipe Gómez and Jesús Sánchez Más, from left to right. | INFORMATION

The Cardenal Herrera CEU University of Elche and the faculty that make up this educational institution have shown since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic their commitment to society and its environment through different initiatives aimed at safeguarding the health of the population, either in the form of awareness or in the conduct of different research and studies. Within the teaching staff, the cloister that makes up the Degree in Nursing has probably been one of the most active when it comes to defending vaccination in Spain from different areas, going far beyond the strictly teaching.

Benefits of flu vaccination in pregnant women

During the first phase of vaccination, many of the CEU Nursing professors, who are also active professionals in areas such as Emergencies, ICUs or Outpatient Consultations, sent messages of reassurance and information to overcome doubts about vaccination against covid- 19. Alberto Rico, Supervisor of Outpatient Consultations, Day Hospital and Care Management at the Vinalopó University Hospital, and professor of Critical Patient Care and Life Support at the CEU of Elche, confirmed in January of this year that no further reactions were occurring nor health problems than with other vaccines in the more than 1,000 cases they carried.

Currently, according to data from last Friday, November 12, Spain has more than 37.4 million people (78.9% of the population) with the complete vaccination schedule against the coronavirus. And there are 38.1 million (80.4% of the population) who have at least one dose. To achieve this vaccination success, which has set Spain as an example throughout the world, the role of nurses has been fundamental. Not surprisingly, Nursing already carried out an important work in the rest of the existing vaccinations: in the infantile field, in the Emergency Department, in the preventive and occupational health services, in the influenza campaigns, in pregnant women, in allergies …

In addition to the work of truthful information on vaccination and of convincing about its effectiveness in the population, professors and researchers from the CEU of Elche de Enfermería have also wanted to go a step further and investigate vaccination, extending their teaching work and showing their commitment to research and society. This is the case of Noelia Rodríguez, professor of Nursing at the CEU and member of the 2021 Multidisciplinary Working Group on Flu Vaccination of the Valencian Community, who participated in a study on the greater exposure to covid-19 that pregnant and pregnant. But there were other investigations.

The negative impact of the lack of information

An investigation carried out by professors from the CEU Cardenal Herrera University has determined that the Spanish population was reluctant to the covid-19 vaccine in the months prior to the start of vaccination in December 2020. The data obtained, on 2,500 surveys, show that at that time 26.8% of Spaniards refused to be vaccinated, 24.9% expressed doubts and 48.3% yes agreed to get the vaccine. The study warns that misinformation and the lack of political consensus were the main doubts of the Spanish population associated with the new vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 in an extraordinary scientific-health context.

The research, carried out by the professors of the CEU-UCH Health area, Noelia Rodríguez Blanco, Sergio Montero Navarro, José Martín Botella Rico, Antonio J. Felipe Gómez, Jesús Sánchez Más and José Tuells, has been published in the International Journal. of Environmental Research and Public Health. In it, the participating population had a low acceptance rate of vaccines intended to combat COVID-19, caused by concerns about side effects, the speed with which it was created and the idea that it could not be reliable. According to the study authors, communication with the population should have been “as personalized as possible, since we found the existence of age groups, levels of education, political ideology, beliefs about vaccines in general and the state of health itself, that influence the acceptance or rejection of vaccines ”.

To carry out the research, an online questionnaire was developed to obtain information on sociodemographic characteristics, concerns and sources of information about vaccines; and attitudes about vaccination and health status. A multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify the influencing factors. Of the 2,501 participants, 1,207 (48.3%) would accept the covid-19 vaccine, 623 (24.9%) doubted and 671 (26.8%) would reject it. This research parallels that carried out in March in France and in May in the United States, the results of which show that only 26% and 20%, respectively, would reject the vaccine.

The logistic regression showed that being a man, over 60 years old, married, retired, with a high level of education or with a left-wing political inclination, could increase the probability of accepting the covid-19 vaccine. In addition, the study, which was carried out before the start of vaccination in Spain on December 27, 2020, identified that patients with hypertension, immunosuppression, hypercholesterolemia or respiratory disease, or who were overweight, showed greater acceptance of the vaccine, while that those with cancer took the longest to accept it.

Regarding the factors that influenced the decision to accept the vaccine, women had the most negative opinions (not being vaccinated / undecided) compared to men (p Researchers note that the “lack of information on side effects” and the “speed with which it was created” were the most common reasons for hesitation or rejection of the vaccine. Likewise, the variety of information related to the vaccine and the diversity of social agents in charge of communicating the information were also some of the factors. that were most associated with the high percentage of rejection or hesitation among the population.

On the other hand, the press, the media and social networks were the main sources of information consulted by the population before the start of vaccination. To a lesser extent, the population consulted other more specialized sources, such as the web pages of organizations and associations related to health or scientific bibliographic databases. In this sense, it stands out that the social agents of trust in the population were health workers.

Flu vaccination in pregnant women

Flu vaccination in vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and pregnant women is essential, especially in times of pandemic, for the prevention of future diseases, hence the Multidisciplinary Flu Expert Group of the Valencian Community warned of the importance of this vaccination. Within this group of experts is Noelia Rodríguez, Professor of Nursing at the CEU of Elche.

“The viruses that cause influenza weaken the immune system and make certain groups of the population, such as pregnant women and postpartum women, more susceptible to the coronavirus, which causes covid-19. In addition, the symptoms of covid-19 and influenza are similar, so the concern is greater.

This is the warning that Noelia Rodríguez makes about the risks of excluding pregnant and pregnant women from this year’s vaccination. And it is that pregnant women have a greater risk of suffering a serious flu due to the physiological changes that are experienced during pregnancy in their immune, cardiac and respiratory systems, mainly.

For this expert, the symptoms of covid-19 and the flu are similar, “so the concern is greater and can further burden health institutions already resentful of all the consequences of this pandemic.” In addition, the measures of the use of masks, social distancing and improvements in coverage in the risk group of pregnant women, caused flu cases to drop last year. “But, on the contrary, now women may be more vulnerable to the flu this year because they do not have the antibodies,” says this midwife and Assistant to the Nursing Directorate, in the Comprehensive Care Unit for Women of the Hospital de la Marina Baixa.

In this sense, Rodríguez acknowledges that vaccination coverage is increased among pregnant women who attend prenatal visits, or follow a program to control their pregnancy. «However, the desired coverage for influenza is not achieved many times due to the belief that ‘it is not a necessary or effective vaccine’, problems with accessibility, its necessary annual frequency, fear of adverse effects or believing that it is not a vaccine that will protect the fetus. All these beliefs are erroneous, and easy to correct by improving information and accessibility to the flu vaccine, “he says.

Likewise, the teacher recalls that mRNA vaccines against covid-19 can be administered together with the flu vaccine. “Getting vaccinated against the flu is a benefit for her and her child, it is safe and she has the opportunity to do so shortly and protect both of them,” insists this expert, who puts the accent on this year’s anti-flu campaign.

Within this scope of work, Noelia Rodríguez has been awarded by the Foundation for the Promotion of Sanitary and Biomedical Research CV – Fisabio with the “Prize for the best scientific article related to influenza vaccination” in the 2021 Call for research entitled “Influenza Vaccination Experiences of Pregnant Women as a Predictor of the Intention to Become Vaccinated in Future Pregnancies in Spain ».

This research has been carried out together with the professors of the University of Alicante (UA) José Vicente Tuells Hernández and Andreu Nolasco Bonmatí.

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