Tue, 02/04/2019 | News

Antenatal pertussis vaccination: timing updated

Pregnant women are recommended to receive a single dose of pertussis-containing vaccine. Vaccination during pregnancy is shown to reduce the risk of pertussis in pregnant women and their young infants by 90%. 

The vaccine should be given between 20 and 32 weeks during each pregnancy, including pregnancies that are closely spaced to provide maximal protection to each infant.  The vaccine shouldn’t be delayed until too close to birth because:

  • maternal pertussis antibodies do not peak until approximately 2 weeks after vaccination
  • some women may give birth before they reach full-term.

If the vaccine has not been given by 32 weeks of gestation, it should still be given at any time up to delivery. If pregnant women receive the vaccine earlier than 20 weeks, they do not need a repeat dose during the same pregnancy. 

A single dose of pertussis-containing vaccine for pregnant women is funded under the National Immunisation program.

For more information, refer to the Australian Immunisation Handbook.