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Your immunity protects both you and your unborn baby (fetus). After you have been immunized (vaccinated) against or infected by a virus or bacteria, your body forms an immunity to it. Full immunity can protect you from future infection, either for a lifetime or a limited period. Partial immunity strengthens how well your body can fight that infection.
Before you become pregnant, be sure to review your immunization history with your doctor. Even if you had a vaccine as a child, it doesn't guarantee that you are now fully immune. It depends on the virus or bacteria. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, make sure that you are up to date with your routine immunizations before you get pregnant.
Rubella, measles, mumps, and chickenpox can harm a growing fetus. They can cause birth defects, fetal death, or premature birth. Chickenpox can also be dangerous for you when you're pregnant.
If you don't know whether you're immune to rubella, measles, or chickenpox, talk to your healthcare provider about a blood test for antibodies to these viruses. If you aren't immune, get the immunizations before you get pregnant. You should not get pregnant for 1 month after getting these vaccines, so keep using birth control for at least 4 weeks.
Influenza, COVID-19, and whooping cough (pertussis) are dangerous diseases for newborns and young infants. Influenza and COVID-19 can also be dangerous for you when you're pregnant. Getting the influenza, COVID-19, and dTap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccines during pregnancy is considered safe for your baby. And these vaccines protect both you and your newborn. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends:
CitationsCastillo E, Poliquin V (2018). Immunization in pregnancy. SOGC Clinical Practice Guideline No. 357. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 40(4): 478–489. DOI: 10.1016/j.jogc.2017.11.010. Accessed April 27, 2018.National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) (2018). Immunizations in pregnancy and breastfeeding. In Canadian Immunization Guide: Part 3—Vaccination of Specific Populations. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/canadian-immunization-guide-part-3-vaccination-specific-populations/page-4-immunization-pregnancy-breastfeeding.html. National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) (2021). Advisory Committee Statement (ACS) National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI): Recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-covid-19-vaccines.html
Adaptation Date: 9/21/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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