Which vaccinations are required during pregnancy, and when should I get them?
Hi I’m at 26 weeks of my pregnancy. Which vaccinations are required during pregnancy, and when should I get them? For example, I understand that I need to get a flu vaccination. When is the latest I can get this, and are there other vaccinations I should consider?
According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organisation (WHO), the only 2 vaccines that are recommended for pregnant women are the whooping cough (Pertussis) vaccine and the flu vaccine as these 2 infections can have serious effects on newborn babies.
Whooping cough is an infection that leads to upper respiratory tract like symptoms in an infected adult (cough, low grade fever).
In newborn babies however, besides the upper respiratory tract symptoms, it can cause the airways to acutely swell and narrow leading to airway obstruction. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment and hospitalisation.
Because of the rising incidence of whooping cough in newborn babies, it is now recommended that all pregnant women receive the whooping cough vaccination between 27 to 36 weeks of pregnancy.
Flu is a common infection that affects both pregnant and non-pregnant women and in most cases it is mild. Pregnancy can lead to changes in a mother's immune system so much so that pregnant women may be more susceptible to these infections.
The reason for recommending flu vaccination to pregnant women is that it can potentially be associated with preterm labour and the infection may affect the baby.
The flu vaccine can be given at any trimester and is especially recommended during the flu season depending on which part of the world you live in.