Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Russell Kirby, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ellen Daley, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ricardo Izurieta, M.D., Dr.PH.

Committee Member

Cheryl Vamos, Ph.D.


Flu vaccination, pharmacy, perinatal care


The influenza vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine in preventing influenza infection in the general population. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that pregnant women receive influenza inactivated vaccine (IIV) due to the high morbidity and mortality associated with influenza infection in pregnant women. Despite the recommendation, the U.S. national influenza vaccine uptake rates among pregnant women continue to remain low. Studies have shown barriers to influenza vaccine uptake in pregnant women to include issues with access, unavailability of vaccine, and lack of time during prenatal visits. These barriers can be overcome using pharmacists because, among healthcare providers, pharmacists are the most accessible; approximately 250 million individuals make a trip to the pharmacy every week, however, there are few qualitative studies on pharmacists perspectives on the role they can play to increase influenza vaccine uptake in pregnant women. This study aims to qualitatively study explore: (a) The course content related to influenza immunization and how pharmacy students perceive it, and (b) Influenza vaccine administering practices among licensed pharmacists. The objectives will be achieved qualitatively through the use of in-depth interviews and focus groups. Exploration of pharmacy school curriculum revealed a need for pregnancy-specific immunization content. Qualitative interviews with licensed pharmacists revealed that most pharmacists believe they have a role to play in providing influenza immunization to pregnant women. This study suggests that systematically implementing more pregnancy-specific content into pharmacy school curricular would be effective in intervening with pharmacy students. Findings also indicate the need for continued education intervention with practicing pharmacists, as access to immunization services should not be mitigated by a lack of knowledge and personal beliefs.

Included in

Public Health Commons