13 February 2017

Take 5: Pregnancy and travel immunisation

Clinical Immunology O&G

 

Some vaccines that are typically administered before travel are contraindicated for pregnant women.

While influenza and pertussis vaccines are recommended for pregnant women who are travelling, live vaccines are generally contraindicated, according to Dr Nigel Crawford, a paediatrician and the medical head of immunisation services at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

In deciding which vaccines to administer, doctors assess the likelihood of exposure to various diseases in different locations, explains Dr Crawford.

“And influenza would still be the top of the list… because they are travelling in a plane and potentially exposed to the flu.

“We would recommend that the influenza [vaccine] be administered prior to travel at any time during pregnancy.”

Other vaccines are evaluated on a case-by-case basis depending on where women are travelling to and how long they are staying, he says.

“Generally those live vaccines are contraindicated,” says Dr Crawford. “Boosters of measles-containing vaccines, yellow fever vaccines would be for individual discussion on that location. Inactivated typhoid vaccine would be still appropriate to administer.”

In this video, Dr Crawford discusses which vaccines are recommended for pregnant women who are travelling.

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