Vaccines and Shots During Pregnancy

Pregnancy vaccinations

If you’re considering getting pregnant or already pregnant, it is important to get yourself vaccinated and immunized against serious illnesses. Remember, these vaccines while protecting you, also ensure your baby’s health by defending them against deadly viruses.

But, you must keep in mind that all vaccines are not safe for pregnant women. Vaccines with live viruses like the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) are not given as it could harm the baby. While vaccines with dead viruses like the flu shot and the Tetanus which is a toxoid vaccine are both safe and given during pregnancy.

What Vaccines Are Given During Pregnancy?

Two doses of the anti tetanus vaccine are given during the course of first pregnancy. It protects the baby against tetanus infections as well as prevents premature delivery.

The first shot is given in the first trimester shortly after pregnancy confirmation. The second shot follows about eight weeks after the first shot. The WHO recommends a third dose six months after the second shot to ensure a long-term protection.

During the second pregnancy, only a booster dose of the tetanus vaccine is given, if there’s been a gap of less than two years since your first pregnancy when both the doses were given.

In some countries, the flu shot is also given to protect the mother–to-be from complications that could occur from a flu attack.

Other vaccines which are safe and could be recommended on a need base are Hepatitis B and Influenza (inactivated) vaccine.

What Are The Vaccines You Should Avoid?

The following vaccines are not considered safe during pregnancy and there is a high risk of miscarriage, pre-mature birth or birth defect in the baby.

  • Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV)
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
  • Varicella
  • HPV Vaccine
  • Hepatitis A
  • Pneumococcal

Cick here to view a detailed chart list of the immunisation and pregnancy vaccines recommended by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


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