Vaccination in pregnancy
Vaccination in pregnancy
- Maternal vaccines are totally safe for both the pregnant mother and her baby.
- Vaccines during pregnancy give protection to the mother as well as some early protection for the baby too!
- Flu in pregnancy can lead to serious pregnancy complications and can be easily avoided by timely vaccination./li>
- Getting pregnant again warrents revaccination.
Why Should Pregnant Women Be Vaccinated?
Women, who are not immunized, are susceptible to certain diseases that can harm them and their unborn child. Vaccines provide protection to the mother as well as the fetus.
Are Vaccines Safe?
All vaccines are checked for purity, potency and safety befoew they are released in the market. FDA and CDC monitor the safety of each and every vaccine for as long as it is in use.
Allergic people must consult their doctor before administration of a vaccine as they may develop allergic reactions to an ingredient in a vaccine, such as eggs in the influenza vaccine.
Which Vaccines Can I Receive While I’m Pregnant?
All vaccines are not safe during pregnancy. The vaccines that contain killed (inactivated) viruses can be given safely during pregnancy whereas; live vaccines are contra-indicated in pregnancy. The safety of any vaccine during pregnancy should be discussed with doctor beforehand. The vaccines that are considered safe during pregnancy are:
- Hepatitis B:strong> Pregnant women who are not immunized and are at high risk for acquiring the disease can receive this vaccine. It protects the mother as well as the baby against infection, both before and after the delivery. Three doses at 0, 1 and 6 months are required to have immunity.
- Influenza (Inactivated): This vaccine can prevent serious illness in the mother during pregnancy and is recommended in all pregnant women during the flu season. Influenza nasal spray is made up of live virus and hence should be avoided in pregnancy.
- Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (Tdap): Tdap protects the mother and the baby from three deadly diseases. One dose of Tdap is recommended between 27 and 36 weeks in every pregnancy regardless of past immunization. Tdap should be administered immediately after the birth of your baby if not administered during pregnancy.
Can a Vaccine Harm My Unborn Baby?
There are a number of vaccines, especially live-virus vaccines, that should be avoided in pregnant women, because they may be harmful to the baby. Live virus vaccines should only be administered either at least three months before conception or immediately after the baby is born.
Which Vaccines Should A Pregnant Women Avoid?
Live vaccines can potentially be transmitted to the unborn child and may result in miscarriages, birth defects and preterm birth.
- Hepatitis A: The safety of this vaccine hasn’t been determined in clinical trials, but it can be given if the benefits outweigh the risks.
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR): Non-immune women should wait for at least one month after the vaccine shot, for planning a pregnancy.
- Varicella: This is a live vaccine, used to prevent chicken pox and should be given at least one month prior to conception.
- Pneumococcal: The vaccine should be avoided in pregnancy as its safety is unknown.
- Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) and Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV): Both these vaccines are not recommended in pregnancy.