PHE inadvertent vaccination in pregnancy guideline

Pregnant woman and doctor AS (thumbnail)

Vaccination is a successful and cost-effective public health intervention. Despite the protection that maternal vaccination offers to both mother and fetus against vaccine-preventable diseases, the administration of live viral and bacterial vaccines is generally contraindicated during pregnancy. This is because live vaccines have the potential to infect the fetus, although there is no evidence that live vaccines cause birth defects. However, live vaccines may be administered during pregnancy if the risks associated with contracting a vaccine-preventable disease are greater than those associated with maternal vaccination. In addition, women may be inadvertently immunised with live vaccines shortly before conception or during early pregnancy. As part of a UK-wide surveillance programme on the safety of vaccines given in pregnancy, Public Health England (PHE) analyses information reported by surgeries on women immunised with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), varicella, or human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines during pregnancy or shortly before conception.

This Guidelines for Nurses summary contains advice for health professionals on pregnant women who are vaccinated against COVID-19, chickenpox (varicella), shingles, or measles, mumps, and, rubella (MMR) HPV vaccines.

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