Flu vaccine reminders via text messages help pregnant women get jabs
Washington: A new study has found that text messages sent to expecting mothers belonging to low-income obstetric populace, to remind them of influenza vaccine actually boost vaccination coverage, especially for those who received the messages early in their 3rd trimester.
The researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health followed 1187 obstetric patients from five community-based clinics in NYC that are part of an ambulatory care network which routinely provides influenza vaccinations to pregnant women.
Women in the intervention group received five weekly text messages about the importance of the vaccine starting in mid-September 2011 and two text message appointment reminders.
Both groups received standard automated telephone appointment reminders.
The results showed that text messaging was successfully used to increase vaccination coverage.Adjusting for gestational age and number of clinic visits, women who received the intervention were 30 percent more likely to be vaccinated.
A subgroup of women early in the third trimester had the highest intervention effect - 61.9 percent of the intervention group was vaccinated versus 49 percent for the control group.
Vaccine text message reminder-recalls in this population have been limited.
The study is published in the American Journal of Public Health.