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Vaccines and Pregnancy

Posted Dec 02 2008 11:02am

An Ounce of Prevention: Vaccines and Pregnancy

Vaccines protect your body against dangerous diseases. Some vaccines are not safe to receive during pregnancy. For some vaccines, the decision to give a vaccine during pregnancy depends on a pregnant woman’s own situation. Her doctor may consider these questions before giving a vaccine:

   1. Is there is a high chance she will be exposed to the disease?
   2. Would the infection pose a risk to the mother or fetus?
   3. Is the vaccine unlikely to cause harm?

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that Hepatitis B vaccination should be considered when women are at risk for developing Hepatitis B during pregnancy, and inactivated influenza vaccine should be considered for women who are pregnant during flu season. On the other hand, a pregnant woman who is not immune to rubella (German measles) is not given a rubella vaccine until after pregnancy. Talk with your doctor to make sure you are fully protected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides vaccine guidelines for pregnant women.

Source: National Women’s Health Information Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.womenshealth.gov

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