Are vaccines for pregnant women safe?
Yes! As mentioned by the speakers, vaccination is not only safe during pregnancy but encouraged. Being immunized reduces the risk of disease in the mother and offers benefits for children in the womb.
Additionally, the mother’s immunity temporarily protects her child after birth. This is important because the first few months are critical for growth and development.
However, it is important to note that not all vaccines can be given during pregnancy. Certain vaccines
What are the recommended vaccines for pregnant women?
Dr. Desiree Valles-Pampolina outlined the recommended vaccines for pregnant women. For extra precaution, most OB-GYNs prefer to administer any vaccine during the second and third trimester.
Highly recommended vaccines include the annual influenza vaccine and the combination tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis vaccines (Td/TDaP). While other vaccines can be given, depending on the mother’s immunization history and current risk factors.
Dr. Daphne Policarpo added that pregnant women should only receive the inactivated vaccines, not live vaccines. She also explained that the two highly recommended vaccines (influenza and Td) are available for free in government health centers.
The flu vaccine is not only recommended for pregnant women but for everyone, especially those who are at risk of exposure. Because there are different prevalent strains of influenza in each season and year, the vaccine requires yearly doses.
Another important vaccine for pregnant women is the tetanus-diphtheria vaccine (Td) and the tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis vaccine (TDaP). While DTaP is already part of the National Immunization Program for children, women should get a dose of TDaP every time she gets pregnant.
Ideally, it should be given during the 27th week of pregnancy to the 36th week. However, mothers can still receive the dose before being discharged from the hospital.
Everyone should receive a booster shot of the Td vaccine every 10 years.
Additional vaccines for pregnant
Hepatitis A and B
For mothers who have a high risk of exposure to hepatitis A (HAV) or hepatitis B (HBV) viruses, they should also get vaccinated.
The hepatitis A (HepA) vaccine is an inactivated vaccine that is safe for pregnant women. High-risk exposure includes traveling to countries where the virus is endemic, having chronic liver disease, and being a healthcare worker. Get the vaccine in 2 separate doses, 6 to 18 months apart.
The hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine is given to pregnant women if she has not been previously immunized or her antibody (anti-HBs) count is low. Get the vaccine in 3 doses; 1 to 2 months for the second dose and 4 to 6 months for the third dose.
Rabies vaccines are not routine. However, in case a pregnant mother has been bitten by a dog, cat, or other infected animals, she can safely receive a shot of this vaccine. It should be given as soon as possible because a rabies infection progresses quickly and is life-threatening.
How about the COVID-19 vaccines?
There is limited data on the safety of the vaccine during the first trimester of pregnancy, however, pregnant women can still get vaccinated. The mRNA-type COVID vaccines can be offered to pregnant and breastfeeding women. You can avail of the vaccine if you are part of the current priority group (e.g. A3, A4).