Expert reports about Vaccines



What are the issues of vaccination and pregnancy?

Over the past several decades, both weakened live attenuated (living but weakened) vaccines and various types of non-living vaccines have been produced to confront numerous diseases. Pregnancy is a situation that requires researchers and healthcare providers to assess the needs for particular vaccines in terms of the benefits and risks to the baby as well as to the mother. In terms of immunization status, the ideal situation is for a woman to be up to date with all vaccines prior to getting pregnant, as there as some infectious diseases – one in particular called rubella -- which can do permanent, severe harm to your future baby early in pregnancy. Rubella is part of a three-component vaccine that protects against not just rubella, but also two other diseases – measles and mumps — and it must be given prior to pregnancy, not during. However, a booster shot for another combination vaccine, called Tdap, should be given during pregnancy in order to protect the fetus from a condition called pertussis, also called whooping cough. Similarly, influenza vaccination, must be given during pregnancy if the timing of your pregnancy is such that the flu season is approaching.


Although most people make an effort to stay up to date on their vaccines, there is a great deal of information floating around against vaccines, some of it dead wrong. First and foremost among incorrect information is that being spread by a movement of individuals who are opposed to vaccines in all forms, a movement whose propaganda you may confront in the course of your pregnancy as its adherents often attempt to dissuade pregnant women against protecting themselves and their babies through vaccination.


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