Vaccination during Pregnancy

BY Dr. Naga Salini, MBBS, MS Published on October 25, 2021

Well, let’s not forget how immunization plays the role of a strong fighter in fighting against any foreign body from entering into the body of normal person. Now, let’s put some lime light on maternal body and how this immunization plays vital role in during pregnancy.

How immunization plays crucial role during pregnancy

We have been taught since our childhood how health and hygiene play an important role in our life. Health and Hygiene both go hand in hand in order to strengthen our body to battle against any type of disease and save us from ill health. It’s greatly said, “Health is Wealth”, i.e. If Wealth is lost, nothing is lost, but if health is lost everything is lost. So, keeping health in mind we should always be particular and observant to stay immunized especially during pregnancy.

Vaccination during pregnancy is justified, when the prospect of exposure seems to be high and infection poses risk either to mother or fetus.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have together published general guidelines for immunization of pregnant women.

Providers must be aware of vaccinations that are given to a pregnant women on a regular basis namely:

  • Tetanus, Diphtheria and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine

Maternal Tdap vaccination ensures in protecting infants. It is recommended to take between 27 and 36 weeks of gestation.

  • Influenza vaccine

Flu vaccination during pregnancy is safe and this vaccine ensures in protecting babies from complications of getting infected with flu for several months after birth.

The above named vaccines are not just a list of vaccines given to pregnant women globally but are those that are given ensuring safety and passive protection to the newborn, and are not related to miscarriage.

COVID-19 VACCINATION OF PREGNANT WOMEN:

COVID-19 infection during pregnancy may result in rapid deterioration of health of pregnant women and could also affect the fetus. Experts are of the view that the benefits of vaccination to the pregnant women outweigh its potential risks. Based on the recommendations from National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), MoHFW has approved vaccination of pregnant women against COVID-19 with the condition that the pregnant women may be informed about the risks of exposure to COVID-19 infection along with the risks and benefits associated with the COVID-19 vaccines available in the country. Based on the information provided, a pregnant woman will have the choice to take the vaccination.

Approved COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy in India are Covaxin and Covishield. Other vaccines administered in other countries are Pfizer (Biotech) and Moderna.

Other vaccines

Some women may need other vaccines before, during, or after they become pregnant. For example, if a pregnant woman works in a lab or is traveling to a country where she may be exposed to meningococcal disease, her doctor or healthcare professional may recommend meningococcal vaccination.

  • Hepatitis B: A baby whose mother has hepatitis B is at highest risk for becoming infected with hepatitis B during delivery. Moms, talk to your healthcare professional about getting tested for hepatitis B and whether or not you should get vaccinated.
  • Hepatitis A: For pregnant women who have a history of chronic liver disease, doctors or healthcare professionals may recommend the hepatitis A vaccine.
  • Vaccines for travel: Pregnant women planning international travel should talk to their doctor or healthcare professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before their trip to discuss any special precautions or necessary vaccines.

Can a vaccine harm my developing baby?

Some vaccines, especially live vaccines, should not be given to pregnant women because they may be harmful to the baby. Keep in mind that vaccine recommendations for pregnant women are developed with the highest safety concerns for both mothers and babies.

Conclusion:

Benefits of vaccination of pregnant women outweigh its potential risks and provide immunity to pregnant woman and fetus.

So, always step ahead to get vaccinated in order to save just not your life but also the life of an unborn fetus aspiring to step into this world. Save two precious lives by immunizing efficiently.

Author

Dr. Naga Salini, MBBS, MS

Gynecology & Obstetrics

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