Pregnant women

immunisation for pregnant women

When you are pregnant your immune system changes. This means you may be more at risk of some infections and illnesses that can be harmful to you and your baby.

Immunisation can protect you and your baby against some of these infections. It is important that you discuss immunisation with your doctor or health care provider.

Whooping Cough (Pertussis) and Influenza (flu) vaccines are recommended and funded for all pregnant women.

What vaccinations should I have before becoming pregnant?

Talk to your family doctor about your vaccine history and which vaccinations you should have before becoming pregnant. Some of the vaccines you might wish to discuss with your family doctor may be hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox).

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What vaccinations should I have while I am pregnant?

Pregnant women are routinely recommended to receive the Influenza vaccine and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (dTpa) vaccine during each pregnancy. These vaccines are provided free to pregnant women.

  • Influenza
    Influenza (commonly known as ‘flu’) is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. For more information on influenza visit the ACT Health Influenza webpage.
  • Whooping cough (Pertussis)
    Whooping cough is a highly infectious respiratory illness caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Newborn babies are particularly susceptible to whooping cough.  Receiving the pertussis vaccine from 20 weeks of pregnancy gives your body time to produce antibodies that will be passed onto your baby before birth. These antibodies will help protect your baby until they receive their own vaccination at 6 weeks of age. Whilst it is best to receive the vaccine between 20 -32 weeks of pregnancy, it can be given from 20 weeks up until delivery. It is important to have the pertussis vaccine during every pregnancy to provide maximum protection to each infant.

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Are the vaccines safe?

Yes, the vaccines are safe for both the pregnant woman and baby during pregnancy. Risks are the same as for any vaccination (localised pain, redness and swelling at injection site, fever). For further information visit:

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How much will the influenza and whooping cough vaccine cost?

Under the National Immunisation Program (NIP), influenza vaccine is free for all pregnant women at any stage during pregnancy and the whooping cough vaccine is free for all pregnant women from 20 weeks. Some immunisation providers may charge a consultation fee.

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I recently received a tetanus shot, should I still have the whooping cough vaccine?

Yes, to ensure your baby is protected against whooping cough, it is important to receive the vaccine from 20 weeks of pregnancy. If you have received a tetanus and diphtheria-containing vaccine within the previous 18 months you may develop some redness, swelling and soreness at the injection site.

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Do I need to be vaccinated during every pregnancy?

Yes, it is important to have the influenza vaccine at any stage during each pregnancy and the whooping cough from 20 weeks of each pregnancy, even if the pregnancies are close together. This will ensure the best protection against influenza and whooping cough for every baby.

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Does my baby still need to be vaccinated?

Yes. Infants still need to be vaccinated in accordance with the National Immunisation Program Schedule to develop longer lasting immunity.

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Should my family be vaccinated?

It is a good time for other household members including partners, grandparents and close family to review their own immunisation status and whether they require vaccination before your baby is born.

Further information:

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Page last updated on: 18 Mar 2021