All pregnant woman should receive the influenza vaccine.
Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) is given around 32-34 weeks- this will in turn reduce the risks of tetanus, pertussis and diphtheria in the new-born baby. All other vaccines should preferably be taken outside of pregnancy e.g.– MMR, HPV vaccine, Varicella, TB and others.

  1. Tdap Vaccine
  • Why Get Vaccinated

Due to an increase in pertussis related deaths in newborns, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination in the form of Tdap in each pregnancy, regardless of prior vaccination history.  “Optimal timing for Tdap administration is between 27 and 36 weeks gestation. For women not previously vaccinated with Tdap, if Tdap is not administered during pregnancy, Tdap should be administered immediately postpartum”.  For more information, please visit

  • When Should I Get the Vaccine?

The Tdap vaccine can be safely given to pregnant women after the 20th week of pregnancy – preferably during the 3rd trimester. If a new mother does not receive the vaccine during pregnancy, she should receive it before she is discharged from the hospital following her birth.

  • Should My Family Members Also be Vaccinated?

Fathers and other adult family members who have close contact with your baby are encouraged to ask their primary care provider for the vaccine.

  • How Often Should I Receive the Tdap Vaccine?

Tdap is given only once in adulthood.

  • Who Should Not Receive the Vaccine?

The only times that the Tdap vaccine is not recommended is if someone has a history of allergy to vaccines or if someone has already received the Tdap vaccine in adulthood.

  1. Influenza Vaccine

All women should receive the influenza vaccine; this is particularly important during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The influenza vaccination is an essential element of prenatal care because pregnant women are at an increased risk of serious illness and mortality due to influenza. In addition, maternal vaccination is the most effective strategy to protect newborns because the vaccine is not approved for use in infants younger than 6 months.

Only the inactivated influenza vaccine is recommended during pregnancy. Live, attenuated influenza vaccine, which is given as a nasal spray, is contraindicated for pregnant women.

Inadvertent administration of the live, attenuated influenza vaccine during pregnancy has not been shown to be harmful. The live, attenuated influenza vaccine is safe to administer postpartum and to family members.

It is safe for pregnant women to receive a vaccine with thimerosal. Thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative used in multidose vials, has not been shown to cause any adverse effects except for occasional local skin reactions.

There is no scientific evidence that thimerosal-containing vaccines cause adverse effects in children born to women who received vaccines with thimerosal.

  1. Other Vaccines

In general, there are no other vaccines recommended in pregnancy.  At the first obstetric appointment, or prior to pregnancy, we will confirm your immunity to rubella and varicella (chicken pox).  If you are non-immune, these vaccines can be administered 6 months prior to pregnancy or after.  They are typically live virus vaccines and therefore, cannot be given during pregnancy.  Please talk to your physicain regarding your individual need for these vaccines.

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