U.S. pregnant women's knowledge and attitudes about behavioral strategies and vaccines to prevent Zika acquisition

Lauren Dapena Fraiz, Ariel de Roche, Christine Mauro, Marina Catallozzi, Gregory D. Zimet, Gilla K. Shapiro, Susan L. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Introduction Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause significant infant morbidity. Little is known about pregnant women's attitudes regarding behavioral strategies and hypothetical vaccination to prevent Zika infections and sequelae. Methods Pregnant women across the United States (N = 362) completed an online questionnaire regarding attitudes about Zika, including six behavioral prevention strategies (i.e., abstaining from sex, using condoms, not traveling to an area with Zika, their partner not traveling into an area with Zika, using mosquito repellant, wearing long pants and sleeves) and vaccination. Results Most women (91%) were married/living with the baby's father, 65% were non-Hispanic White, and 71% had been pregnant. Seventy-four percent were worried about Zika, while 30% thought they were knowledgeable about Zika. The mean knowledge score was 5.0 out of 8 (SD = 2.09), and the mean behavioral strategies score was 4.9 out of 12 (SD = 3.7) with a range of 0 (none would be hard to do) to 12 (all would be hard to do). In a multivariable model, having had a sexually transmitted infection, living/traveling in an area with Zika, and worrying about Zika were significantly related to reporting behavioral strategies as hard to do. Seventy-two percent would be willing to be vaccinated. In the multivariable model, living/traveling in an area with Zika, believing they knew a lot about Zika, worrying about Zika, and considering Zika vaccine development as important were significantly associated with willingness to get vaccinated. Conclusions Pregnant women were worried about Zika, yet had gaps in their factual knowledge. Most women reported they would get vaccinated if a vaccine was available. Pregnant women who reported themselves as vulnerable (being worried, having lived in or traveled to a Zika area) were more likely to view behavioral strategies as hard to do and to accept vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-169
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


  • Behavioral prevention
  • Knowledge
  • Pregnancy
  • Vaccination
  • Zika

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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