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Immunization and Pregnancy - What Is Recommended?

By Dr. Janice S. Naumann, MD, Randolph OB/GYN

Which vaccines are safe to take during pregnancy, and which are recommended? These questions often arise among women who are or are considering becoming pregnant. Here are some guidelines for immunization during pregnancy.

Click on image above to play Dr. Naumann's interview on
Charlotte Today.


The seasonal flu vaccine is indicated for all women who are or will be pregnant during flu season, October through May. Pregnancy increases the risk of acquiring the flu and of developing serious complications from the flu.

The flu vaccine can safely be given at any point during a pregnancy. However, pregnant women should not receive the live attenuated vaccine (Flumist).

Thimerosal, a common vaccine preservative which contains mercury, has not been shown to cause adverse effects in children whose mothers were given vaccine containing the product.

Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)

The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy between 27 and 36 weeks gestation, regardless of when this vaccine was last given. However, if a woman receives the vaccine during the first or second trimester, she does not require repeat vaccination third trimester. All contacts for the newborn should be up to date on this vaccine as well.

Hepatitis A and B

Both Hepatitis A and B vaccines can be given during pregnancy if the patient is considered at risk. For instance, if a woman is starting clinical rotations for nursing school or medical school, she should clearly be vaccinated for Hepatitis B. The usual interval is 0, 1 and 6 months.


Measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is not indicated during pregnancy but should be given before pregnancy if a woman is not immune. If non-immunity to rubella is discovered during pregnancy, the vaccine should be given postpartum.


The chicken pox vaccine is not indicated during pregnancy but can be given prior to pregnancy if a person is not immune. Of the patients who don't remember having chicken pox, 80% are immune, so checking titers is reasonable prior to vaccinating. The varicella vaccine has been in use for almost 20 years now but some patients may need boosters.

To learn more about your personal immunization options and needs during pregnancy, schedule an appointment with me or other skilled physicians at Randolph OB/GYN, using our online contact form or calling 704-333-4104.

Dr. Janice Naumann
The primary focus of Dr. Naumann's practice has always been, put the patient first. She believes that what is going on in her patient's life is just as important as the medical approach. See Dr. Naumann's bio page here.

Vaccines during pregnancy are vital to protect both mother and baby.
Influenza,TDaP, and Hepatitis A and B are safe to give during pregnancy.
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