Immunization of Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women for Ob-gyns
The 2013-2014 Influenza Season has begun. Pregnant women are at higher risk of complications due to influenza. If your patient is pregnant she should receive the inactivated influenza vaccine, if she is breastfeeding she can receive the inactivated or live vaccine.
During the 2012-2013 influenza season, 51% of pregnant women were vaccinated. Provider recommendation and offer of vaccine is shown to have been a key factor in increasing vaccination rates. Click here for the CDC article.
Call to Action: The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) has drafted "Improving Vaccination Rates in Pregnant Women: Timely intervention-lasting benefits," in partnership with ACOG, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Centers for Diesease Control and Prevention (CDC).
IAC: The Immunization Action Coalition, in collaboration with and endorsed by ACOG, has released a new resource, "Vaccinations for Pregnant Women". Click here to view. Click here to view the handout in Spanish.
CDC RESOURCE: Comprehensive website for pregnant/breastfeeding women, click here to view. Additionally, this chart provides a quick overview of vaccinations needed during pregnancy:Immunization and pregnancy, what vaccines do you need?
TDAP GUIDANCE: See the College's Committee Opinion Update on Immunization and Pregnancy; Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Vaccination.
All women who will be pregnant during influenza (flu) season (October through May) should receive the inactivated influenza vaccine. The live attenuated influenza vaccine is contraindicated for pregnant women. The influenza vaccine is safe for pregnant women and their unborn children as well as postpartum and breast feeding women and can be given during any trimester. Immunizing pregnant and postpartum women against seasonal influenza can protect the mother and may help her baby by preventing the spread of the flu from mother to child following delivery. The seasonal flu vaccine has been given safely to millions of pregnant women over the past 45 years. The flu shot has been recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for pregnant women for many years.
Additional CDC and ACOG Resources:
Seasonal Influenza Website (with updated 2013-2014 flu season information)
Read the College’s Committee Opinion on Influenza Vaccination During Pregnancy.
Pregnant Women Need a Flu Shot! A CDC web page answers common questions about pregnant women and the flu. Additionally, hard copies of the DVD are available for ob-gyns who wish to ‘loop’ it in their offices on continuous play for patients.
What Pregnant Women Should Know About Flu See answers to common questions and concerns about pregnant women being immunized for the flu.
Send a CDC E-Card to your patients reminding them of the importance of being vaccinated against seasonal influenza.
Last Updated: 3/4/2014
Immunization of Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women for Patients
ACOG RESOURCE: Seasonal Influenza 2013-2014 Information
Many vaccines are safe for pregnant women and may prevent serious illness for their unborn children.Vaccines to prevent the seasonal influenza (flu) virus and pertussis (whooping cough) are recommended for pregnant women because of the high risk those diseases pose to infants. The Tdap vaccine for pertussis also protects against tetanus and diphtheria. Other vaccines may be recommended in certain high-risk situations.
The flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women and their unborn children as well as breastfeeding mothers and can be given during any trimester. The flu vaccine has been given safely to millions of pregnant women over the past 45 years and is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the CDC. Vaccinating women against the flu can protect the mother and may help her baby by preventing the spread of the flu from mother to child after delivery. Pregnant women should get the inactivated vaccine. Note: The nasal spray version of the flu shot contains live attenuated virus and should not be given to pregnant women.
The Tdap vaccine is also safe for pregnant women and their unborn children as well as breastfeeding mothers. Pregnant women who have not previously gotten the vaccine should get the shot during each pregnancy between 27 weeks and 36 weeks gestation. If they miss the vaccine during pregnancy and have never had a Tdap before, it should be given before they leave the hospital or birthing center.
For more information on vaccines you may need while pregnant or breastfeeding see CDC’s Immunization and Pregnancy chart. Talk to your health care provider about which vaccines you may need during pregnancy.
Last Updated: 9/26/2013