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Vaccines in Pregnancy

Generally, live-virus vaccines are contraindicated for pregnant women because of the theoretical risk of transmission of the vaccine virus to the foetus.
Whether live or inactivated vaccines are used, vaccination of pregnant women should be considered on the basis of risks vs. benefits – i.e., the risk of the vaccination vs. the benefits of protection in a particular circumstance.

The table below provides some general information on some of the main vaccines:

Hepatitis A The safety of hepatitis A vaccination during pregnancy has not been determined; however, because hepatitis A vaccine is produced from inactivated [hepatitis A virus], the theoretical risk to the developing foetus is expected to be low. The risk associated with vaccination should be weighed against the risk for hepatitis A in women who may be at high risk for exposure to [hepatitis A virus].
Hepatitis B On the basis of limited experience, there is no apparent risk of adverse effects to developing foetuses when hepatitis B vaccine is administered to pregnant women (CDC, unpublished data). The vaccine contains non-infectious HBsAg particles and should cause no risk to the foetus [Hepatitis B virus] infection affecting a pregnant woman may result in severe disease for the mother and chronic infection for the newborn. Therefore, neither pregnancy nor lactation should be considered a contraindication to vaccination of women.
Influenza Pregnant women who have medical conditions that increase their risk for complications from influenza should be vaccinated before the influenza season—regardless of the state of pregnancy.
Measles MMR and its component vaccines should not be administered to women known to be pregnant.
Mumps MMR and its component vaccines should not be administered to women known to be pregnant.
Polio Although no adverse effects of OPV or IPV have been documented among pregnant women or their foetuses, vaccination of pregnant women should be avoided.
Rubella MMR and its component vaccines should not be administered to women known to be pregnant.
Tetanus & Diphtheria Although no evidence exists that tetanus and diphtheria toxoids are teratogenic , waiting until the second trimester of pregnancy to administer Td is a reasonable precaution for minimising any concern about the theoretical possibility of such reactions.
Varicella The effects of the varicella virus vaccine on the foetus are unknown; therefore, pregnant women should not be vaccinated.
BCG Although no harmful effects to the foetus have been associated with BCG vaccine, its use is not recommended during pregnancy.
Source : [ 1 ]

For further, more detailed information on this topic, please refer to the reference source for this page.

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. Taken from Guidelines for Vaccinating Pregnant Women from Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Available online at:

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Contact Last modified: Jun 25 2002