Background: Accurate, standardized information on childhood immunization is not available in Japan. We investigated current practices in perinatal childhood immunization education in the community and the needs and interest for such education among Japanese mothers. Methods: This cross-sectional, descriptive study evaluated pregnant and postnatal women at four institutions in Niigata, Japan from May through July 2014. Data were collected using questionnaires inquiring about demographics, immunization education received, intent to receive childhood vaccines, and needs regarding information on childhood immunization. Results: Questionnaires were distributed to 300 women, and 116 (38.6%) were returned; 70 (59.6%) of the respondents were pregnant women and 46 (40.3%) were postnatal women. Fourteen (20%) of the 70 pregnant women reported receiving some form of immunization education; in contrast, 34 (73.9%) of 46 postnatal women had received such education within 1 month of delivery. The rates of respondents who felt that the information was insufficient were high: 78.6% among pregnant women and 52.9% among postnatal women. Pregnant women reported that the most important information was general concepts of immunization; in contrast, postnatal women desired more-detailed information, e.g., on immunization scheduling. Conclusions: Japanese women do not receive sufficient perinatal immunization education. The information needed during the prenatal and postnatal periods differs. Thus, educational approaches may need to provide carefully targeted information.
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