Pre-pregnancy and pregnancy related vaccinations
Vaccinations are important in the preconception, pregnancy and post-partum period in that they provide increased protection to the person carrying the pregnancy and their baby, both in pregnancy and in the post-partum period. People who are pregnant, and their baby, have a higher risk of severe disease from these infections. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) supports the recommendation of routine vaccinations, and additional vaccinations where indicated, for people planning a pregnancy and who are pregnant.
We can provide you with a summary of your vaccination status, obtained from your preconception screening results. We recommend that you are up to date with the following vaccinations before pregnancy:
If you are not immune to varicella, it may be because you did not contract chicken pox as a child or you may not have been immunised. Having chickenpox as an and adult and exposure when pregnant can be quite serious and can cause birth defects in the unborn baby if infected early in the pregnancy. If infected around the time of birth the newborn baby may develop more serious type of chickenpox. In a few severe cases, this type of chickenpox can be fatal. Please see your GP ASAP for the vaccine. Two doses are needed, four to eight weeks apart and avoid pregnancy for up to 28 days following vaccination. If you choose not to have the vaccine or have missed out on having it, please make a mental note that you are not immune and take extra precautions to avoid exposure to chicken pox and shingles when trying to conceive or when pregnant. If you are exposed inadvertently - please see your care provider for immunoglobulins which is should be given within 72 hours of exposure.
MMR vaccine is the best protection against three diseases and to protect against rubella during pregnancy, which can cause a miscarriage or serious birth defects. It is important to get the MMR vaccine at least a month (28 days) before becoming pregnant. This is a single dose only.
Ideally three doses are required for full immunisation against Hepatitis B, however it is a personal choice if you would like to complete the course, take one or two dose for some immunity or not vaccinate at all. There is no consensus, but my recommendation is to take 2 doses if you can and a third after delivery or whilst trying to conceive. Hep B is an inactive vaccine and can be taken during pregnancy if needed but not usually recommended.
Influenza virus during pregnancy can cause significant illness. It is therefore recommended that people planning pregnancy get their seasonal influenza vaccine. It can also be administered in pregnancy.
People who are pregnant have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and their babies have a higher risk of being born prematurely. The COVID-19 vaccine reduces the risk of becoming significantly unwell with COVDI-19. People who are planning their pregnancy do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.
Below is a summary of the recommended pre-pregnancy and pregnancy related vaccination developed by RANZCOG