Vaccinations And Pregnancy: What Are The Guidelines?
Many people wonder if a woman can safely get a vaccine while pregnant. The answer is yes. Women can get vaccinated while pregnant if certain guidelines are followed. The general rule is that women should avoid getting live vaccines while pregnant. There are two types of vaccines: live and inactive.
Live vs inactive vaccines
Live vaccines contain live cultures of the virus. These vaccines are used to help the immune system build an immunity to the virus. However, live vaccines can also lead to some complications. Doctors typically do not give these vaccines to people with compromised immune systems, which can include some pregnant women. Inactive vaccines feature a dead version of the virus. Like live vaccines, inactive vaccines help the body develop an immunity to a virus. But the dead culture is not as strong as the live version. Therefore, people need booster shots to maintain immunity.
Other types of vaccines
Some other vaccines are made from the proteins, sugars, or casing of the germ. People with weakened immune systems can also receive these vaccines. Some of these include:
Another family of vaccines, toxoid vaccines, are made from the harmful toxins the germ produces. This vaccine gives patients protection from these toxins.
The importance of travel vaccinations
Travel vaccines are meant to protect people traveling to countries known to have certain viruses. People typically receive these vaccines before leaving the country. Additionally, doctors put limitations on where and when pregnant women can travel. Doctors discourage women from traveling to areas with high disease rates. Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever, anthrax, rabies, smallpox, typhoid, and bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) are considered travel vaccinations.
What vaccines can a pregnant woman get?
Pregnant women can receive flu, tetanus, diphtheria, Tdap, and hepatitis B vaccines. Doctors do not recommend most travel vaccines to pregnant women unless there is a high risk of exposure. Doctors usually conduct tests on pregnant women prior to administering any vaccines. Vaccines are given on a case-by-case basis.
Speak to a medical professional
Before receiving any vaccination, speak to a doctor to learn more about the benefits and risks of travel vaccinations for pregnant women. All pregnant women should speak with a healthcare provider to determine if a travel vaccination is the best choice.