Pregnancy is a joyous and exciting time for many women, but it’s also a time to consider how to keep both mother and baby healthy. Vaccination is one of the most important ways to protect both mother and baby against serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses.
In the Philippines the following vaccines are recommended for pregnant women:
- Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) – Pertussis or whooping cough can cause serious illness and even death both for the mother and the baby. Symptoms such as difficulty of breathing, severe cough, and vomiting especially in the third trimester can lead to premature labor and low birth weight of the infant. Serious complications in the newborn, such as pneumonia, brain damage, and death. The vaccine is given during every pregnancy, ideally between 27 and 36 weeks and is available at all the local health centers throughout the country. The vaccine also protects the baby from neonatal tetanus which is fatal among newborns.
2.Influenza (flu) – protects pregnant women from the flu and their babies for the first six months of life. The flu can be especially dangerous as it can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and hospitalization.
3.Covid 19 Vaccine -pregnancy increases the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19, and vaccination may help protect both pregnant women and their fetuses. DOH has stated that pregnant women may receive COVID-19 vaccines, but only after consulting with their obstetrician-gynecologist and getting informed consent.
Some vaccines may not be safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Live attenuated vaccines are not recommended as they may cause actual infection of the disease and can be life threatening for both the mother and baby. Examples of live attenuated vaccines include the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, and the yellow fever vaccine.
Women of reproductive age should keep their vaccinations up to date and ensure that they have all recommended vaccines especially if they plan to get pregnant. Some of the recommended vaccines are MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B, and HPV (human papilloma virus).
Pregnant women needs to consult with their healthcare provider to determine the best course of action with regards to vaccination as it is an important part of maintaining overall health and preventing the spread of infectious diseases, especially during pregnancy.
About The Author
Dr. Coco is a highly-educated and well-qualified primary care physician who graduated from the University of the Philippines Baguio with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. She completed her three-year residency training in Family Medicine at Brokenshire Medical Center. She passed her diplomate exams in Family Medicine, given by the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians in 2018.
Dr. Coco is dedicated to providing comprehensive and holistic care for her patients. She is a primary care physician who believes in delivering continuing comprehensive health care for all. To her, patients are not just a number as she takes time to analyse how she can improve their overall health every chance they can get.