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This was an innovation project supported by the Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund.

Lead organisation

Monash University


  • Nebula Health
  • Aspex Consulting
  • Healthsmart Pharmacy


Mothers infected with influenza (flu) while pregnant can experience severe illness and are at increased risk of hospitalisation and death. It can also affect their babies, with infection associated with premature birth and negative infant health outcomes.

Maternal vaccination is the most effective way to protect both mother and child from being infected with diseases such as the flu and pertussis (whopping cough). However, despite national recommendations, a funded vaccination program, and evidence showing they are safe and effective, the uptake of flu vaccinations among pregnant Victorian women is low.

Monash University implemented a package of innovative interventions in six maternity services to encourage more mothers to get flu vaccinations, helping to protect them and their babies against preventable illness and further hospitalisation.


  • Analyse the current model of maternal vaccine delivery for each maternity service to understand the barriers and facilitators to maternal immunisation
  • Establish the most appropriate intervention for each maternity service using the barriers and facilitators analysis
  • Increase maternal flu immunisation coverage in participating maternity health services by 20 per cent by improving access to vaccinations and increasing healthcare provider and consumer knowledge about the benefits of vaccination


  • Increased maternal flu vaccinations by between 50 and 196 per cent across all participating maternity services
  • Made it easier and more convenient for women to receive maternal vaccinations
  • Developed informative and helpful educational resources on flu vaccination for maternity patients
  • Boosted health service staff job satisfaction by empowering them to provide access to maternal immunisation
  • Achieved costs savings of between $9 and $71 per immunisation for all services through more efficient vaccine delivery


March 2020 – All six participating maternity services have incorporated their respective new vaccine delivery models into usual care. Six months after project completion, at least five services had sustained or increased their higher levels of maternal flu vaccination coverage.

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