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Vaccination recommendations for pregnant women

Pregnant women are strongly recommended to receive a single dose of pertussis vaccine and a single dose of influenza vaccine in each pregnancy, irrespective of the interval between pregnancies.

Pertussis and influenza vaccination during each pregnancy protects both mother and baby as the antibodies made by the mother in response to the vaccine are passed onto her baby across the placenta soon after vaccination and until delivery. This passive transfer of antibodies can help to protect the newborn during the first months of life when they are most vulnerable and still too young to be vaccinated themselves.

Both pertussis and influenza vaccines are provided free for pregnant women under the National Immunisation Program.

Pertussis vaccine
The optimal time for pertussis vaccination in pregnancy is between 20 and 32 weeks gestation. However, if the vaccine has not been given by 32 weeks, it can be given at any time during the third trimester up to delivery.

Influenza vaccine
Seasonal influenza vaccine can be given any time during pregnancy and can be safely given at the same time as the pertussis vaccine. Women who had last year’s seasonal influenza vaccine early in their pregnancy can still receive this year’s influenza vaccine in the same pregnancy.

NCIRS has a fact sheet titled Vaccinations during pregnancy protect expectant mothers and their babies and the Australian Immunisation Handbook has a section titled Vaccination for women who are planning pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding and a range of resources, including infographics to assist providers when discussing vaccination recommendations pre pregnancy, during pregnancy and post pregnancy.

Read the Australian Immunisation Handbook recommendations