Disparities in maternal influenza immunization among women in rural and urban areas of the United States. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pregnant women and their infants are at high risk of influenza-associated complications. Although maternal immunization offers optimal protection for both, immunization rates remain low in the U.S. Women in rural communities may represent a difficult to reach group, yet immunization rates among rural-residing women have not been well evaluated. We analyzed data from the 2016-2018 Phase-8 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System for 19 U.S. states, including 45,018 women who recently gave birth to a live infant. We compared the prevalence of influenza vaccination prior to or during pregnancy and receipt of a vaccine recommendation from a healthcare provider for rural vs. urban-residing women. We used average marginal predictions derived from multivariate logistic regression models to generate weighted adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and corresponding 95% CIs. Of the 45,018 respondents, 6575 resided in a rural area; 55.1% (95% CI: 53.3, 56.9) of rural-residing women and 61.3% (95% CI: 60.6, 61.9) of urban-residing women received an influenza vaccine prior to or during pregnancy. The prevalence of vaccination was 4% lower among rural-residing women (aPR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.93, 0.99). The greatest difference in rural vs. urban immunization rates were observed for Hispanic women and women with no health insurance. Our results indicate that pregnant women residing in rural communities have lower rates of immunization. To prevent maternal and infant health disparities, it is important to better understand the barriers to maternal immunization along with efforts to overcome them.

published proceedings

  • Prev Med

altmetric score

  • 9.95

author list (cited authors)

  • Kaur, R., Callaghan, T., & Regan, A. K.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Kaur, Ravneet||Callaghan, Timothy||Regan, Annette K

publication date

  • June 2021