Immunisations you need if you are planning a pregnancy
We recommend you are up to date with all your immunisations if you are planning a pregnancy.
It is particularly important to know if you are immune to:
You cannot have these immunisations when you become pregnant, and they can cause harm to you and your developing baby.
Immunisations you need while you are pregnant
Some diseases are riskier while you are pregnant. You can protect yourself and your pēpi (baby) while you are pregnant by getting 3 free vaccines.
While the vaccines do not affect your pēpi, you will naturally pass on some of your immunity. This means when they are born, they will have some protection until they are old enough to be immunised themselves. This is especially important for whooping cough.
Whooping cough vaccine (Boostrix)
Whooping cough is particularly dangerous for babies — especially those who have not been vaccinated. More than half of babies under 12 months old who catch whooping cough need to go to hospital, and up to 1 in 50 of these babies die.
By getting immunised when you’re pregnant you will protect your pēpi until they can have their first immunisations when they are 6 weeks old. This is because your immunity passes to your baby through the placenta.
The whooping cough vaccine is most effective when given from 16 to 26 weeks of pregnancy, but is available and free from 13 weeks of every pregnancy.
If you catch the flu when you are pregnant, you are at greater risk of getting pneumonia and are more likely to be hospitalised.
Flu also increases the chance of complications for your baby, such as early birth, miscarriage, stillbirth and lower birth weights.
You can get a free flu vaccination at any stage of your pregnancy.
Pregnant people can get really sick from COVID-19.
Being vaccinated against COVID-19 means you are far less likely to get seriously ill. It also protects your pēpi as there is evidence that babies can get antibodies through the placenta that help protect them from COVID-19.
As well as your first 2 COVID-19 doses, pregnant people over 16 years old, can have boosters.
To get a booster it is recommended that you wait at least 6 months since your last COVID-19 vaccine or infection.