Introduction: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of infant hospitalization and mortality. With multiple vaccines in development, we aimed to determine: (1) the awareness of RSV among pregnant women and healthcare professionals (HCPs), and (2) attitudes toward clinical trials and routine implementation of antenatal RSV vaccination.
Methods: Separate questionnaires for pregnant women and HCPs were distributed within 4 hospitals in South England (July 2017–January 2018).
Results: Responses from 314 pregnant women and 204 HCPs (18% obstetricians, 75% midwives, 7% unknown) were analyzed. Most pregnant women (88%) and midwives (66%) had no/very little awareness of RSV, unlike obstetricians (14%). Among pregnant women, 29% and 75% would likely accept RSV vaccination as part of a trial, or if routinely recommended, respectively. Younger women (16–24 years), those of 21–30 weeks’ gestation, and with experience of RSV were significantly more likely to participate in trials [odds ratio (OR): 1.42 (1.72–9.86); OR: 2.29 (1.22–4.31); OR: 9.07 (1.62–50.86), respectively]. White-British women and those of 21–30 weeks’ gestation were more likely to accept routinely recommended vaccination [OR: 2.16 (1.07–4.13); OR: 2.10 (1.07–4.13)]. Obstetricians were more likely than midwives to support clinical trials [92% vs. 68%, OR: 2.50 (1.01–6.16)] and routine RSV vaccination [89% vs. 79%, OR: 4.08 (1.53–9.81)], as were those with prior knowledge of RSV, and who deemed it serious.
Conclusions: RSV awareness is low among pregnant women and midwives. Education will be required to support successful implementation of routine antenatal vaccination. Research is needed to understand reasons for vaccine hesitancy among pregnant women and HCPs, particularly midwives.