Many GPs not recommending flu vax to pregnant patients

In a qualitative survey of 17 GPs in South-Western Sydney, researchers from the University of New South Wales found that while the majority of the GPs interviewed were aware of the government recommendations for influenza vaccination during pregnancy, more than half had significant safety concerns about giving the vaccine to pregnant women. 

Among the two-thirds of GPs who recommended the vaccine to pregnant patients, most encouraged the women to decide for themselves if they would receive the vaccine.

Responses to the question of the risk of influenza during pregnancy included: “If they are otherwise fit healthy people with no asthma or other particular indications to have the flu injection... I probably wouldn’t advise having it.”

Melbourne obstetrician Dr Elizabeth McCarthy said that while unvaccinated pregnant women were not at an increased risk of contracting influenza, they were at a higher risk of complications requiring