If you are looking for information about pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the COVID-19 vaccination page.
Immunisation before pregnancy
If you are planning to have a baby, try to have your routine vaccinations up to date before you become pregnant.
Book an appointment to speak with your doctor. The doctor may order a blood test to check your immunity to some diseases (including rubella, chickenpox and hepatitis B) to see if you are protected. Based on the results, the doctor may recommend some vaccines.
Immunisation during pregnancy
Some infectious diseases can cause serious harm to pregnant women or their unborn babies.
While you are pregnant, you can get the influenza and whooping cough (pertussis) vaccines free through the National Immunisation Program:
The influenza vaccine is recommended for every pregnancy and at any stage of your pregnancy. It is the best way to protect both you and your baby from influenza.
Influenza can be a serious disease, especially when you are pregnant
During pregnancy, the immune system is naturally weakened, which puts pregnant women at a greater risk of getting the influenza
If you catch influenza it can put you at a higher risk than other adults of complications and even a stay in hospital
Babies under 6 months are too young to have the influenza vaccination. The best way to protect your newborn baby is to have the influenza vaccination during pregnancy.
Find out more about the influenza vaccine.
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Why should you vaccinate against influenza in pregnancy?
Influenza is not just a cold – it’s a serious disease for pregnant women and their developing babies. Many women don’t realise that during pregnancy there are changes to their immune, heart and lung functions that make them more vulnerable to severe illness from influenza.
I’m getting vaccinated because I had no idea how serious influenza really is for women during pregnancy.
The influenza vaccine is safe at any time during pregnancy.
I’m getting vaccinated to protect myself and my baby.
Influenza infection in infants can be dangerous. In the worst cases, it can lead to death from serious respiratory problems and pneumonia.
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That’s why getting vaccinated during pregnancy is so important because it passes on protective antibodies to your baby which will protect them in the first few months of life when they are most vulnerable.
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I’m getting vaccinated because influenza is dangerous and I want to make sure my new born baby is protected until they’re old enough to get the influenza vaccination themselves at six months of age.
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I plan to get vaccinated before the peak influenza season to ensure I give it enough time to take effect.
Vaccination during pregnancy is the best way for pregnant women to protect themselves and their babies from influenza
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Ask your doctor, specialist, nurse or midwife today,
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or visit health.gov.au/immunisation
Whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine
The whooping cough vaccine is recommended between 20 and 32 weeks of every pregnancy (although it can be given up to the time of delivery). It is the best way to protect your baby against whooping cough.
- Whooping cough is a serious disease for babies and can be deadly.
- When you are vaccinated, your antibodies transfer from you to your developing baby
- Babies will have some protection until they can have their first immunisations at six weeks of age.
Find out more about the whooping cough vaccine.
See Getting vaccinated for information on where to get vaccinated, what to expect, immunisation records and possible side effects.