Women’s Health Week

This week the National Immunisation Office would like to encourage pregnant women get the recommended vaccines to be protected against vaccine preventable diseases.

The vaccines recommended in pregnancy are available free of charge from GP practices.

We asked Dr Aparna Keegan, Specialist in Public Health Medicine from our office, why it is important for women pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant to get vaccinated:

 

Vaccines recommended for pregnant women

If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, you should get

  • The MMR vaccine (before pregnancy)
  • The COVID-19 vaccine
  • The flu vaccine
  • The pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine

The vaccines recommended in pregnancy work to stimulate your own immune system to make antibodies to protect you and your baby from these diseases.  

 

MMR vaccine

Before getting pregnant, you should get the MMR vaccine to have immunity to infection from rubella. Getting vaccinated will protect your baby from Congenital Rubella Syndrome which can be serious and can cause major birth defects such as deafness or blindness in 9 out of 10 babies.

The MMR vaccine will provide protection against rubella infection in any future pregnancies.

COVID-19 vaccine

If you are pregnant, you are more likely to get very unwell and need treatment in intensive care than a woman who is not pregnant.

Catching COVID-19 while pregnant can cause premature labour, miscarriage or stillbirth.

Getting the vaccine helps protect you and your baby from serious illness and hospitalisation from COVID-19.

Flu vaccine

Pregnant woman are more at risk of serious illness from flu. Catching the flu while pregnant can significantly increase the risk of premature birth and stillbirth.

Getting the flu vaccine while pregnant will help protect you and your baby. The vaccine provides protection to your baby during their first six months of life. This is when babies are most likely to be admitted to hospital with flu.

Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine

Babies under six months are most at risk from whooping cough.

The whooping cough vaccine is recommended for pregnant women in every pregnancy. The vaccine provides protection to you and your baby during the first few months of life.

Why you should get vaccinated in pregnancy

Vaccination is the best way you can protect you and your baby from vaccine preventable diseases while pregnant.

Research shows that the vaccines are safe for both you and your baby.

 

When to get vaccinated in pregnancy

If you are thinking about getting pregnant, you should get the MMR vaccine at least one month before pregnancy.

The pertussis vaccine is needed in every pregnancy. You should get the vaccine between 16 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.

If you are pregnant during the flu season, you should get the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy.

The COVID-19 vaccines can also be given at any stage of pregnancy.

 

Vaccination protects mothers and babies

This Women’s Health Week we are encouraging all women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant to get vaccinated. The vaccines are available free of charge from GP practices.

Vaccination is the best way to protect you and your baby from vaccine preventable diseases.

Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of getting the recommended vaccines in pregnancy.

This page was added on 8th March 2022