Asset Publisher

Research, Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health


Towards preparedness for new maternal vaccinations: Understanding barriers and facilitators to maternal vaccine acceptance

Azucena Bardají (ISGlobal)
Funded by
Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (Government of Spain). PI19/01346, ISCIII-AES Proyectos de Investigación en Salud, 2019

Maternal immunisation is an excellent strategy for preventing severe disease in pregnant women, their foetuses and infants through the passive passage of antibodies through the placenta. As a substantial proportion of neonatal and infant deaths are due to infectious diseases, most of which are vaccine-preventable, there is a real opportunity for intervention. Tetanus, pertussis, influenza and COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for pregnant women globally, however, despite their proven benefits and the recommendation by the World Health Organization (WHO), coverage among pregnant women remains sub-optimal worldwide.

The VITAL study is a mixed-methods study aimed to understand the drivers influencing maternal vaccine acceptance, uptake and demand among pregnant women and healthcare workers, and is coordinated by the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal). The study includes a health facility-based cross-sectional quantitative survey of 300 pregnant women attending routine antenatal care services in Barcelona and 300 healthcare workers, including midwives and gynaecologists. Additionally, based on the preliminary findings from the quantitative sub-study, a qualitative study comprising semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions is being conducted on a sub-sample of pregnant women, their partners and healthcare workers.

Understanding baseline awareness and perceived risks and benefits of maternal immunisation among pregnant women and healthcare workers is essential to better anticipate acceptance of maternal immunisation strategies. The results of this project are expected to help guide decisions and strategies for effective future maternal vaccination programmes, including eventually those for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Group B Streptococcus (GBS), two maternal vaccine targets currently under development. Additionally, the study aims to identify strategies to achieve wider maternal vaccine implementation and consequently reduce morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable infectious diseases in mothers and their children.

The VITAL study is funded by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (Government of Spain).

Our Team

Principal Investigator (PI)

ISGlobal Team

  • Clara Menéndez Santos
    Clara Menéndez Santos

Other projects

See Past Projects


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in African pregnant women and children


Continued validation of the minimally invasive autopsy for the investigation of the causes of death in infants, and establishment of a research and training center to study causes of death


Improving Maternal and Infant Health by reducing malaria risks in African women: evaluation of the safety and efficacy of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine for intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in HIV-infected pregnant women


Improving Care through Azithromycin Research for Infants in Africa


Identification of Prematurity and Pre-Eclampsia as Causes of Mortality


MULTIple doses of IPTi Proposal: a Lifesaving high Yield intervention


Prevalence and impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on maternal and infant health in African populations


Impact of perceptions of COVID-19 vaccines on health-seeking behaviours in Sierra Leone

HIV drug resistance (HIVDR)

Description of HIV drug resistance patterns and its association with the risk of HIV mother to child transmission among pregnant women from southern Mozambique


PReparing for Optimal Phase III/IV maTErnal Group B StreptococCal vaccine Trials in Africa