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Encouraging Influenza Vaccination Among Text4baby Pregnant Women and Mothers

      Introduction

      Pregnant women, postpartum women, and infants are at high risk for complications from influenza. From October to November 2012, Text4baby, a free national text service for pregnant women and mothers of infants aged <1 year, implemented a module of interactive messages encouraging maternal influenza vaccination. A program evaluation examined whether a text-based reminder or tailored education improved self-reported influenza vaccination or intent to be vaccinated later in the influenza season among Text4baby participants.

      Methods

      Nearly one third (28,609/89,792) of enrollees responded to a text asking about their vaccination plans. Those planning to receive vaccination were randomly assigned to receive an encouragement message or an encouragement message plus the opportunity to schedule a reminder (n=3,021 at follow-up). Those not planning to be vaccinated were randomly assigned to receive general education or education tailored to their reason for non-vaccination (n=3,820 at follow-up). The effect of the enhanced messages was assessed using multinomial logistic regression in 2013–2014.

      Results

      A reminder increased the odds of vaccination at follow-up among mothers (AOR=2.0, 95% CI=1.4, 2.9) and of continued intent to be vaccinated later in the season (pregnant, AOR=2.1, 95% CI=1.4, 3.1; mother, AOR=1.7, 95% CI=1.1, 2.5). Among mothers not planning to be vaccinated because of cost, those who received a tailored message about low-cost vaccination had higher odds of vaccination at follow-up (AOR=1.9, 95% CI=1.1, 3.5). Other tailored messages were not effective.

      Conclusions

      Text reminders and tailored education may encourage influenza vaccination among this vulnerable population; both have now been incorporated into Text4baby.
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