ACNM is excited to announce a new initiative on improving vaccination rates in women. We are working with two new partners, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ASTHO is a non-profit organization representing public health agencies and professionals, while promoting excellence in public health practice. The project involves producing a resource of materials that midwives can use to educate women about immunizations.
In December we requested members participate in a survey about vaccines. About 940 members responded to the survey. Over 80 of the respondents reported that they either screen or provide immunizations to their clients. The biggest information needs identified by the survey include lack of knowledge of the safety of immunizations, talking points for clients, contraindications/indications, updates on the schedule, and the state Immunization Information Systems. Barriers for those not offering immunizations were reimbursement, not enough interested patients, and not enough storage space. This project hopes to address these needs.
Each vaccine has rigorous clinical trials before it can be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Clinical safety studies have been conducted for decades on vaccines and pregnancy, and although there are risks with vaccines as with any medication or procedure, studies have shown that immunization during pregnancy protects the woman, the fetus, and the newborn, and that the chance of serious harm is small. Side effects vary by vaccine, but the chance of severe side effects is less than the complications from getting the disease. The March of Dimes, FDA, CDC, NIH, AAP, IOM and the WHO all confirm the safety of vaccines.
The resources below will assist you in providing immunizations to your clients: