Flu Vaccine (also called the “flu shot”)
This is safe and recommended as an essential element of prenatal care for ALL pregnant women. Pregnant women who get the flu are at increased risk for severe illnesses, and their babies are also at risk. Pregnant women can receive the flu vaccine at any time, during any trimester. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.
Whooping Cough (pertussis) or Tdap vaccines
This is one of the most common vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States. It is caused by bacteria that can spread easily from person to person through contact, coughing and sneezing. It can be very serious for babies and cause them to stop breathing. Pregnant women should receive a dose of Tdap vaccine during EACH pregnancy, preferably between 27-36 weeks to protect themselves and their babies. In addition, all family members and caregivers of infants should also get vaccinated with Tdap.