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Immunizations during pregnancy

INTRODUCTION

Maternal immunization protects both the mother and fetus from the morbidity of certain infections. It can also provide the infant passive protection against infections acquired independently after birth [1]. Ideally, immunizations are given prior to conception, but administration during pregnancy is indicated in some situations.

Nonimmune women are immunized during pregnancy when there is a high risk of exposure to an infection, the infection is hazardous to mother or fetus, and the immunizing agent is unlikely to cause harm. Despite maternal immunological adaptations to pregnancy, immunization of pregnant women appears to be as effective as in nonpregnant women [2].

The Infectious Diseases Society of America has published general guidelines for immunization of pregnant women [3]:

Providers should be aware of immunizations routinely recommended for all pregnant women (tetanus, diphtheria, influenza) (see 'Routine immunizations' below).

Providers should administer appropriate vaccines to pregnant women with medical or exposure indications that put them at risk for vaccine preventable infections (see 'Selective immunization of high risk groups' below).

                                       

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Literature review current through: Aug 2014. | This topic last updated: Sep 23, 2014.
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