Vaccines strengthen people’s immune systems so their bodies can fight off serious infectious diseases. Vaccines also benefit society by preventing the spread of communicable diseases.
Many women might not realize they are not up-to-date on their immunizations and are susceptible to diseases that can harm them or their unborn child. Pregnant women should talk to their physicians to figure out which vaccines they might need and whether they should get them during pregnancy or wait until after their child is born.
All vaccines are tested for safety under the supervision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The vaccines are checked for purity, potency and safety, and the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitor the safety of each vaccine for as long as it is in use. Some people might be allergic to an ingredient in a vaccine, such as eggs in the influenza vaccine, and should not receive the vaccine until they have talked to their doctors.
A number of vaccines, especially live-virus vaccines, should not be given to pregnant women because they might be harmful to the baby. (A live-virus vaccine is made using the live strains of a virus). Some vaccines can be given to the mother in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, while others should only be administered either at least three months before or immediately after the baby is born.
Depending on the circumstance, your doctor will weigh the risks of vaccination against the benefits the vaccine can provide.
The following vaccines are considered safe to give to women who might be at risk of infection:
The following vaccines can potentially be transmitted to the unborn child and might result in miscarriage, premature birth or birth defects.
Side effects vary from none to those that can occur up to three weeks after vaccination. If you experience any severe side effects, be sure to tell your doctor.
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