Vaccines in Pregnancy

Many vaccines are safe and some may be recommended in pregnancy. Visit The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada website to find out more about vaccinations during pregnancy.

The following vaccines are RECOMMENDED in pregnancy:

  • Influenza (flu shot)

Vaccines that should be AVOIDED in pregnancy include:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Poliomyelitis (oral: Sabin)
  • Typhoid (oral)
  • Vaccinia
  • Varicella
  • Yellow fever

The following vaccines can be considered SAFE in pregnancy but are not recommended routinely unless medically indicated. Please discuss with your OB and/or GP prior to administration:

  • Cholera
  • Diphtheria/tetanus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Meningococcus
  • Plague
  • Pneumococcus
  • Poliomyelitis (Inactivated: Salk)
  • Rabies
  • Tdap (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis)
  • Td (tetanus)
  • Typhoid (injectable)

Should I get the pertussis (Tdap) vaccine in pregnancy?

Pertussis is another name for whooping cough.  Tdap is a booster vaccine that protects against whooping cough, tetanus and diptheria.  As per recent Canadian and American Guidelines, Tdap administration is now recommended in every pregnancy between 21 and 36 weeks of gestation (ideally between 27 and 32 weeks gestation).  

Even if you have been vaccinated before this vaccine will help protect your current baby from pertussis in the first two months of life. This works because the vaccine can stimulate production of antibodies in the mother  which are passed along through the placenta to the baby.  These antibodies will protect the baby from any exposures until they are old enough to be immunized with the Dtap vaccine.  

Please see your family doctor to get this vaccine.  If you have any more questions please discuss with your obstetric care provider.  

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.