Are you aware of the vaccinations to be taken during pregnancy and other safety concerns related to it? Find more about issues and concerns related to Typhoid, Cholera, Influenza, B.C.G. and Hepatitis B vaccinations during pregnancy.
There is no convincing evidence of risk to the foetus from immunisation of pregnant women using inactivated virus vaccines, bacterial vaccines or toxoids. But to ensure safety it is always better to consult an obstetrician before taking any vaccination during pregnancy. Read on to learn more about vaccinating against typhoid, cholera, influenza, B.C.G., Hepatitis B during pregnancy.
Typhoid, Cholera, Influenza, B.C.G., Hepatitis B Vaccinations
Vaccination against many life-threatening diseases is recommended for pregnant women. After the vaccination, your immunization ability will be increased. Antibodies would form in your body and would pass to your baby via the placenta. You will become susceptible to diseases that can harm you or your unborn child. This will protect your baby for a few months after birth.
Typhoid is an acute illness causing fever transmitted by Salmonella typhi bacteria through local epidemics and ingestion of unhygienic food. Typhoid vaccination is known to provide immunization to fight these bacteria and its dosage and administration must be completed at least 2 weeks before exposure.
It is given in two ways: live attenuated oral vaccine and a parenteral polysaccharide vaccine. But both the ways are contraindicated for pregnant women. The oral form has a live virus that has theoretical risk of transmission to the foetus, and thus dangerous and not recommended. The efficacy and safety of the polysaccharide form have not been performed in pregnant women, so it is not yet advised as well.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease caused by a toxin from bacteria. They live in and are transmitted by the faecal-oral route from contaminated water sources. There are two improved oral vaccines against cholera: a live, attenuated strain and a killed, whole cell recombinant vaccine – they are effective than the parenteral cholera vaccine.
Live vaccine should be avoided during pregnancy as there is a theoretical risk for the bacteria to get transmitted to the foetus. The killed vaccine is indicated to be safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. There is no specific information regarding parenteral cholera vaccination, which is no longer recommended.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory infection, which leads to severe cold, fever, myalgia, and also pneumonia secondary. It is transmitted by the flu viruses during the winter season. The influenza vaccine is a killed virus preparation and is considered safe to be administered to pregnant women, but during the second or third trimester of pregnancy in the influenza season.
If the pregnant women have asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or suppressed immune system, it is advised to get vaccinated before the winter season regardless of the pregnancy trimester. Influenza vaccination is avoided in the first trimester as there is chance of spontaneous abortion in that period.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which causes death of the tissue in the organs they infect. They can be fatal if left untreated. B.C.G. (Bacille-Calmette-Guerin) vaccine is a live vaccine derived from a strain of Mycobacterium bovis. Its efficacy is high in children rather than in adolescents and adults. It has no foetal side-effects on pregnant women, but its safety and efficacy is not yet studied extensively in pregnant women. Therefore, it is not recommended to have B.C.G. vaccination during pregnancy.
Hepatitis B Vaccination
Hepatitis B is a viral infection, which affects the liver and can cause serious liver damage if left untreated. It is caused by a DNA-containing virus called hepatitis B virus and is transmitted through contact with sexual activity, infected blood, and sharing of intravenous needles. Hepatitis B vaccine has non-infectious hepatitis B surface antigen particles, and therefore, it is safe for pregnant women. It causes no risk to the mother and the foetus.
All vaccines are tested for safety, purity, and potency. But, all types of vaccinations are not recommended during pregnancy. You must consult your doctor or midwife or health supervisor to figure out which vaccines you may need or wait until the child is born. Your body can accept or reject a vaccination as well, so it is always safe to talk to your doctor.
Which vaccinations are safe during pregnancy? Which vaccinations does a pregnant woman need to take during pregnancy? What are side effects of common vaccinations during pregnancy? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team