What Vaccines Cannot Be Given During Pregnancy


What Vaccines Cannot Be Given During Pregnancy?

Being pregnant is a time of joy, excitement and anticipation. But it’s important even during pregnancy to stay up-to-date on your shots. But not all immunizations are safe during pregnancy. Here’s what you need to know about what vaccines you can’t receive while you’re pregnant and why.

Vaccines Contraindicated During Pregnancy

Vaccines rated as “category D” or “Category X” in the FDA’s classification system should not be given during pregnancy. These are vaccines that have proven, documented safety concerns related to their use in pregnant patients.

The list of vaccines specifically contraindicated during pregnancy includes:

  • Influenza Vaccine: This inactivated vaccine helps reduce the incidence and severity of seasonal flu in the general population, but it is contraindicated during pregnancy due to potential harm to the fetus.
  • Hepatitis A Vaccine: Although this vaccine is recommended for people over the age of 40, pregnant women should not receive it due to potential harm to the baby.
  • Meningococcal Vaccine: This vaccine is commonly given to teens, young adults and those of us who travel, but it is contraindicated during pregnancy due to potential harm to the baby.
  • Polio Vaccine: The oral form of this vaccine is contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding due to potential risk of adverse effects on the baby.
  • MMR Vaccine: This commonly given vaccine is contraindicated during pregnancy due to potential risk of adverse effects on the baby.
  • Varicella Vaccine: This vaccine helps protect against chicken pox and is contraindicated during pregnancy due to potential risk of adverse effects on the baby.
  • Tdap Vaccine: This pertussis-containing vaccine is contraindicated during pregnancy due to potential risk of adverse effects on the baby.
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine: This vaccine is contraindicated during pregnancy as it can potentially cause harm to the baby.

The Benefits of Vaccination During Pregnancy

Despite the long list of vaccines that pregnant women should avoid, some vaccinations are safe during pregnancy and even advantageous for both mother and baby.



  • Tdap Vaccine: This tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine is recommended in the third trimester of pregnancy to help protect the health of mothers and their babies.
  • Influenza Vaccine: This inactivated vaccine is safe and recommended during any trimester of pregnancy to help protect both mother and baby from the flu.
  • Pneumococcal Vaccine: This vaccine is safe to receive during any trimester of pregnancy and can help protect against a range of diseases, including bacterial meningitis and pneumococcal pneumonia.

It’s important to talk to your doctor or midwife before receiving any vaccine to make sure it’s the best option for you and your baby.

Summary

Being pregnant doesn’t mean avoiding vaccinations altogether. However, there is a list of vaccines that pregnant women should avoid due to their potential risks and dangers to the fetus. This includes the influenza vaccine, hepatitis A vaccine, meningococcal vaccine, polio vaccine, MMR vaccine, varicella vaccine, Tdap vaccine and hepatitis B vaccine.

On the other hand, some vaccines may be safe for pregnant women to receive and are even advantageous for both mother and baby. These include the Tdap vaccine, influenza vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine. Talk to your doctor or midwife before receiving any vaccine to make sure it’s the best option for you and your baby.

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