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Immunization during pregnancy is crucial. There are a set of vaccinations that are essential for pregnant women and some that needs to be avoided. All vaccines are not suitable for pregnant women especially the live-virus vaccines. A live-virus vaccine that is made of live strains of a virus can be harmful to a baby. If such a vaccine is administered to the expectant mother it may result in miscarriage, premature birth or even birth defects.
Here Dr Ajay Gambhir, President, National Neonatology Forum of India shares a list of essential vaccine that a mother should avoid taking during pregnancy. If at all she needs to take these vaccinations it should either be taken before pregnancy or after childbirth.
Hepatitis A: Women who are at high risk of developing this condition should discuss the pros and cons of taking this vaccine with their doctor. However, as a practice, this vaccine is avoided during pregnancy.
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR): If a woman has already taken this vaccination she should wait for at least a month before becoming pregnant. MMR is a live-virus vaccine. If the test for rubella turns positive then one might receive the shot after pregnancy.
Varicella: This vaccine is given to prevent chicken pox. One should take the shot at least one month before pregnancy.
Pneumococcal: Because the safety of this vaccine is unknown, it should be avoided in pregnancy, except for women who are at high risk or have a chronic illness.
Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) and Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV): Neither oral polio nor the injected one is recommended for pregnant women.
HPV Vaccine: One can take an HPV shot before or after pregnancy to prevent cervical cancer but it is not recommended during pregnancy.
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