DURHAM, N.C., April 22 (UPI) — Obstetrician/gynecologist offices may be the ideal place for women to get caught up on vaccinations, U.S. researchers suggest.
Dr. Geeta Swamy of the Duke University Medical Center says obstetricians and gynecologists don’t usually think of themselves as vaccinators.
“Even though we vaccinate pregnant women against a variety of diseases that are screened for during pregnancy, we still tend to think of vaccinations as happening at the offices of pediatricians, primary care physicians and family practitioners,” Swamy says in a statement.
“But many women seek medical care from their gynecologists, even after they have children. Their annual gynecologist visit is a good opportunity to discuss preventive care which includes vaccinations.”
A North Carolina pilot program had obstetricians and gynecologists offer the human papillomavirus vaccine and tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis vaccines to non-pregnant and post-partum women.
Preliminary data from the program shows when post-partum women were offered the HPV vaccine, the rate of vaccination rose from 0 percent to 44 percent.
“These women would not have been vaccinated if this program was not in place,” Swamy says. “Nearly 600 women received the (Tdap) vaccine of the 1,000 who were offered it.”
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