Vaccination and pregnancy: During pregnancy

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Vaccines you need during pregnancy

Vaccinations during pregnancy protect both you and your developing baby from serious infections. They also help protect infants after birth, when they're too young to be vaccinated.

If you're pregnant, you should be vaccinated against whooping cough (pertussis) and flu. Talk to your health care provider or local public health authority about making sure your vaccines are up to date.

You should get the following vaccinations during pregnancy. They're safe and help protect you and your baby.

Flu vaccine

During flu season, anyone who's pregnant or planning to become pregnant should get the flu shot. The flu is more likely to cause severe illness during pregnancy because your body goes through many changes. These changes can:

  • affect the immune system, heart and lungs
  • make it harder for your body to fight off infections

Receiving the flu vaccine during pregnancy extends protection to your baby. This is important because babies younger than 6 months can't get vaccinated against the flu. Your flu shot helps protect your baby from the flu after birth.

Vaccination with a non-live flu vaccine lowers the risk of complications from the flu during pregnancy and after your baby is born. However, live (attenuated) flu vaccines shouldn't be given during pregnancy.

Learn more about the flu vaccine.

Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccine

During each pregnancy, you should get the Tdap vaccine, even if you've received it before. You should get it when you're between 27 and 32 weeks pregnant.

Whooping cough (pertussis) is particularly dangerous for infants under 2 months of age because they're too young to be vaccinated. When you get the Tdap vaccine in pregnancy, you produce antibodies that protect your newborn during the first months of life.

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Hepatitis B vaccine

The hepatitis B vaccine may be recommended during pregnancy for certain high-risk groups.

Learn more about hepatitis B.

Other vaccines

Your health care provider may recommend other vaccines in certain high-risk situations. For example:

  • if you're travelling to an area where a disease is common
  • if you've been exposed to a disease
  • during an outbreak
  • when indicated due to a health condition or other risk factors

If you're travelling abroad while pregnant

If you're planning to travel abroad while pregnant:

Ask about vaccines you may need. Many vaccine-preventable diseases are common in other parts of the world.

Depending on where you plan to travel and what you plan to do there, you may need additional vaccinations.

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