Zonta USA Advocacy Action Center

Zonta International is a global organization of individuals dedicated to empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. The Zonta USA Advocacy Action Center is a tool for our members in the United States and other individuals who share our commitment to gender equality to take action to improve the lives of women and girls. With your help, we can make a difference. In addition to the actions below, click here to support our joint efforts with UNICEF USA to end child marriage in the United States.

Increase vaccination rates for expectant mothers
In the United States, many pregnant women—especially those covered by Medicaid—do not receive their recommended vaccines. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that everyone who is or might be pregnant during the flu season receive the flu vaccine and that they receive the Tdap vaccine—which protects against tetanus, diptheria and pertussis (whooping cough)—during each pregnancy. 

However, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey, only 54% of pregnant patients received the flu and Tdap vaccines between October 2020 and January 2021. A study conducted in Florida from 2016 to 2018 found that while 68.6% of pregnant women with private insurance received the Tdap vaccine, only 13.4% of those on Medicaid received it. The same study found that 70.4% of pregnant women with private insurance received their flu shot, versus just about half that number for those reliant on Medicaid.

The bipartisan Maternal Immunization Coverage Act (S. 1117) would require that state Medicaid programs cover ACIP-recommended vaccines for pregnant Medicaid enrollees without cost-sharing.

“It is critical that pregnant women are able to receive vaccines that protect their own health and the health of their babies, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH).

The Maternal Immunization Coverage Act was reintroduced by Sens. Hassan and Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) in 2021. Please urge your representative to co-sponsor and support S. 1117. If they have already sponsored or co-sponsored the bill, you can send a message of thanks.

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