Here, pregnant women talk about how their decisions about vaccinations were often influenced by fear. This was identified as both fear of illness, and fear of vaccinations.

The following information was collected from women and is comprised of their personal viewpoints about vaccination


Fear of illness

Fear around illness could show itself as:

  • Seeing other people being very ill from an illness
  • Having had a previous experience of being very ill themselves
  • Feeling pushed towards agreeing to a vaccination to avoid being poorly themselves

Some pregnant women had felt fear from experiences of previous pregnancies, or from society more generally (particularly in relation to fear around the Covid-19 pandemic).

Just 'cause it adds that extra fear, 'cause it’s not just you. It’s you and the baby, and so you just ... and I think if I hadn’t experienced what I did with the first pregnancy, then I would’ve just been fine. But just 'cause that happened, it’s kind of impacted my views.
Hollie, 25-34
Because, obviously, how everything happened at the time, and it was, sort of, a, a, a worrying time for a lot of people, people felt they had to have it because it was offered, and it was this scary time that none of us expected to ever go through.
Sophie, 25-34

Fear of vaccination

For some pregnant women, feelings of fear were associated with decisions about having the vaccination. Some women were afraid of needles or side effects from vaccinations. There was a feeling of wariness about new vaccinations that were being offered. Some pregnant women were fearful of putting things into their body during pregnancy, and this fear was increased by Healthcare Professionals’ advice to avoid most medication during pregnancy.*1

Evidence box
*1 Despite the fears around accepting vaccinations, evidence has repeatedly demonstrated their safety, including for pregnant women.

I think, if I had the option now, I don't think I would’ve had the vaccine. I think I only had them just 'cause you had, had to do that. I think I’d be a bit more concerned about what I put into my body, absolutely.
Olivia, 25-34

Feelings of immunity

Pregnant women told us about how their feelings of their own immunity to illnesses impacted on their decisions about getting vaccinated. Views on immunity during...