Pregnant women are usually advised by their doctors to take the Tdap vaccine during the third trimester of their pregnancy. This is in sync with the recommendation of various health organizations.
This is because, during the third trimester, an expectant mother is protected from the dangers of contracting pertussis.
In addition to the Tdap vaccine, the CDC recommends that pregnant women get the same vaccines they would get if they are not pregnant. This is because pregnancy does not change the importance of vaccines such as the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, and the yearly flu shot.
Pregnant women are also urged to stay up to date with the ongoing developments in the vaccination news as some vaccinations are under study to determine if they are safe during pregnancy.
For example, studies in the U.S. and elsewhere are being conducted to determine if the flu shot or the Tdap vaccine is safe for pregnant women.
However, if a pregnant woman is exposed to a disease, she is urged to get a vaccination. She can even ask her doctor to do a fetal ultrasound to determine if the fetus is safe.
Following a Proper Timing
The best time for a pregnant woman to get the Tdap vaccine is on the 24th week of pregnancy. This is because the third trimester usually starts at the 24th week of pregnancy.
This gives the mother enough time to get vaccinated and allows her body to create antibodies that can help protect her baby against pertussis.
The antibodies may prevent the baby from contracting the pertussis infection.
Therefore, a 24-week-old baby has a high chance of being born before they can contract the infection. This means that the baby is unlikely to get sick.
However, if a pregnant woman gets a booster shot later than the 24th week, it won’t hurt the mother or the fetus. This is because the immunity will be transferred to the baby.
Besides Pregnant Women, Who Is the Tdap Vaccine Recommended For?
The CDC advises that all adults who are at least nine years old should get the Tdap vaccine. This is to prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.
The CDC also urges adults who have close contact with babies less than two months old to get the vaccine. This is for the production of antibodies that can protect newborns from pertussis.
Adults who are at least 64 years old are also advised to get the vaccine. This is because people who are 64 or older are at a higher risk of getting the disease.
What Are the Side Effects of the Tdap Vaccine?
The Tdap vaccine is generally safe for everyone. However, this does not mean that it does not have any side effects.
The most common side effects are mild and include pain in the muscle, in the arm, and where the shot was administered. The pain usually goes away within three days.
Other common side effects include fever, fatigue, soreness, and redness. Other severe side effects include an allergic reaction, difficulty in breathing, hives, and swelling.
Some side effects occur immediately after the shot is administered. These include rash, headache, dizziness, upset stomach, vomiting, muscle aches, and increased sensitivity to light.
The Tdap vaccine is recommended to both pregnant women and non-pregnant individuals. However, it is important to note that it should be administered during the third trimester of pregnancy to ensure that the baby is fully protected from pertussis.
If a baby is vaccinated before three months old, it will not have enough antibodies to protect itself from disease. Take note of all the pointers above, and your vaccination and pregnancy will go smoothly and safer than usual.
If you are looking for a trusted family medicine physician in Michigan who can help you understand more about vaccination and pregnancy, look no further than our experienced practitioners here at Family Medicine and Wellness. We believe that health and wellness are of utmost importance for well-being and are attained through a personalized patient-physician relationship. Call us today to book your very first appointment with us.