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COVID-19 Vaccination Hesitancy during pregnancy: A Mixed Methods Social Media Analysis
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  • Su Golder,
  • Aiden McRobbie-Johnson ,
  • Ari Klein,
  • Florencia Polite,
  • Graciela Gonzalez Hernandez
Su Golder
University of York

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Aiden McRobbie-Johnson
University of Pennsylvania
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Ari Klein
University of Pennsylvania
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Florencia Polite
University of Pennsylvania
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Graciela Gonzalez Hernandez
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
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Objective: To evaluate the reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy during pregnancy from first-person reports. Design: We used regular expressions to identify publicly available social media posts from pregnant people expressing at least one reason for their decision not to accept COVID-19 vaccine. Setting: WhatToExpect and Twitter. Sample: 1017 posts from 945 pregnant people in WhatToExpect and 435 tweets from 345 pregnant people in Twitter Methods: Two annotators manually coded posts according to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) working group’s 3Cs model of vaccine hesitancy (confidence, complacency, and convenience barriers). Within each theme we created subthemes which emerged from the data. Results: Confidence barriers were the most common (75%) and were related to safety, waiting until after the 2nd trimester, birth or breastfeeding, efficacy, misinformation or mistrust. Complacency barriers were also common (52%) with people stating that they did not need the vaccine because they were taking other precautions, were not at risk or had already had COVID-19. Convenience barriers were the least common (13%) with most of these related to medical advice or eligibility. Some women gave more than one reason for their hesitancy and many of the reasons were inter-linked. Conclusion: The reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy during pregnancy give a clear picture of the public health messages required. Concerns around safety should be addressed in a sensitive manner. The relative effectiveness of the vaccine as compared with other precautions could be better promoted as could the high-risk nature of a COVID-19 infection during pregnancy.
19 Aug 2022Submitted to BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
29 Aug 2022Submission Checks Completed
29 Aug 2022Assigned to Editor
11 Oct 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
19 Dec 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
03 Jan 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Major
13 Jan 20231st Revision Received
16 Jan 2023Submission Checks Completed
16 Jan 2023Assigned to Editor
16 Jan 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Jan 2023Editorial Decision: Accept