Do Turkish Obstetricians not Recommend Tetanus Vaccine During Pregnancy?

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Mut A. N. U., Keskin F., Bıyık İ., Demirci H.

Flora İnfeksiyon Hastalıkları ve Klinik Mikrobiyoloji Dergisi, vol.26, no.1, pp.111-121, 2021 (ESCI)


Introduction: We evaluated the recommendations of Ob/Gyn specialists or residents about tetanus vaccination during pregnancy, related factors, and the reasons for not recommending vaccination. Materials and Methods: All active-duty Ob/Gyns in Turkey constitute the universe of this descriptive and cross-sectional study. The stratified sampling method based on geographical area was used to reach the sample group. The final analysis included a total of 393 Ob/Gyns (107.9% of the target sample size). Results: Of the participants, 15.8% (CI= 12.1%-19.5%) stated that they did not recommend tetanus vaccination to pregnant women. Of the physicians younger than 30 years, 32.4% were found to not recommend tetanus vaccination while this rate was 11.3% among physicians aged between 30-39 years. Among the physicians working at private healthcare facilities, the probability of not recommending tetanus vaccination was 2.467 times that among those working at public institutions. This probability was 3.711 times higher among those at university hospitals compared to those working at public institutions. Of the physicians not recommending tetanus vaccination, 90.3% did not recommend because pregnant women were to give birth in sterile conditions. Of the physicians recommending tetanus vaccination, 17.5% stated that more than 10% of the pregnant women who applied to them rejected vaccination. Most frequently cited reasons for rejecting were the thought of vaccine harming the women or the fetus, vaccine-related news reported in the media, and feeling that vaccination was not necessary. Conclusion: One-sixth of the Ob/Gyns do not recommend tetanus vaccination to pregnant women. In particular, physicians under the age of 30 and those working in private or university hospitals were often found to not recommend vaccination. For sustained elimination of MNT, physicians should be persuaded that tetanus vaccination should be administered even if pregnant women give birth under sterile conditions, and this subject should be emphasized in medical and residency training.