Obstetrics Obstetrics




Vaccinations During Pregnancy

Generally, vaccines that contain killed (inactivated) viruses can be given during pregnancy. Vaccines that contain live attenuated viruses are not recommended for pregnant women.

Two vaccines are routinely recommended during pregnancy:

  1. Influenza vaccine. Pregnant women are at higher risks of developing severe complications from influenza than women who are not pregnant because of changes in the immune system during pregnancy. The influenza vaccine is made from an inactivated virus, so it is safe for both the mother and the baby. Pregnant mothers should avoid the influenza nasal spray vaccine, which is made from a live attenuated virus. The influenza vaccine can be administered at any time during pregnancy, before and during the influenza season.

  2. Tetanus toxoid, diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. One dose of Tdap vaccine is recommended during each pregnancy to protect the newborn from whooping cough (pertussis), irrespective of the mother's prior history of receiving Tdap vaccination. Getting the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy can protect the newborn baby before he or she can be vaccinated. This is important because the whooping cough can be particularly dangerous for infants. To maximize the transfer of antibody from the mother to the baby, the vaccine should be given between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. Available data from studies do not suggest a higher risk of having adverse events in pregnant women who received Tdap and that the few serious adverse events reported were unlikely to have been caused by the vaccine.