COVID-19 vaccine uptake and intention during pregnancy in Canada

To investigate COVID-19 vaccine uptake and intent among pregnant people in Canada, and determine associated factors, we conducted a national cross-sectional survey among pregnant people from May 28 through June 7, 2021 (n = 193).

Respondents completed a questionnaire to determine COVID-19 vaccine acceptance (defined as either received or intend to receive a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy), factors associated with vaccine acceptance, and rationale for accepting/not accepting the vaccine. Of 193 respondents, 57.5% (n = 111) reported COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.

Among those who did not accept the vaccine, concern over vaccine safety was the most commonly cited reason (90.1%, n = 73), and 81.7% (n = 67) disagreed with receiving a vaccine that had not been tested in pregnant people. Confidence in COVID-19 vaccine safety (aOR 16.72, 95% CI: 7.22, 42.39), Indigenous self-identification (aOR 11.59, 95% CI: 1.77, 117.18), and employment in an occupation at high risk for COVID-19 exposure, excluding healthcare, (aOR 4.76, 95% CI: 1.32, 18.60) were associated with vaccine acceptance. Perceived personal risk of COVID-19 disease was not associated with vaccine acceptance in the multivariate model.

Vaccine safety is a primary concern for this population. Safety information should be communicated to this population as it emerges, along with clear messaging on the benefits of vaccination, as disease risk is either poorly understood or poorly valued in this population.

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Reifferscheid L, Marfo E, Assi A, Dubé E, MacDonald NE, Meyer SB, Bettinger JA, Driedger SM, Robinson J, Sadarangani M, Wilson SE, Benzies K, Lemaire-Paquette S, Gagneur A, MacDonald SE

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