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Immunizations and Pregnancy - Topic Overview

If you are already pregnant and are not immune

If you are not immune to rubella, measles, or chickenpox, your doctor will recommend that you not have the vaccine until after childbirth. Instead, you must take every precaution to prevent exposure to these viruses while you're pregnant. Vaccination is safe for you and your baby during breast-feeding.

If you are at risk of being exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis A, rabies, polio, meningitis, or pneumococcal bacteria, your doctor may recommend that you get vaccinated against these infections during pregnancy.

If you are age 26 or younger and you did not already get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine before you became pregnant, your doctor may suggest this vaccine after pregnancy.

Smallpox has been eliminated from all places in the world except for research labs. Smallpox vaccine is not recommended during pregnancy because of the small chance that it can affect you or the fetus. But risks related to the vaccine are not as great as the risk of having smallpox infection. So, in the unlikely event that you have or may have been exposed to smallpox, you would be vaccinated to reduce the severity of this life-threatening illness.

Your children should receive their immunizations on schedule. Having your child vaccinated against diseases does not increase your risk for becoming infected with them. You do not need to speed up or delay your child's immunizations.

For more information, see the topic Immunizations or see the topics related to the specific illnesses mentioned above.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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