From the Office of the Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein
August 10, 2015
Contact: Mary C. St. Mary / Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov
Phone: (716) 858-4941 / Mobile: (716)253-3925
Immunizations during Pregnancy
Vaccines Help Keep Mom, Baby and Family Healthy
ERIE COUNTY, NY —To celebrate the importance of immunizations for a healthy start and throughout our lives – and to make sure everyone is protected with all the vaccines they need – the Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”) is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month. This week’s focus is on pregnancy and vaccines.
During pregnancy, expectant mothers are often thinking about baby names, nursery colors, and prenatal vitamins, but they should also be thinking about vaccines. Vaccines during pregnancy not only protect the mother against diseases, but they can also begin to pass some protection onto their unborn baby—protection that will last the first few months of the baby’s life. Newborn infants are too young to be vaccinated themselves; passing maternal antibodies on to them is the only way to help directly protect them.
The two vaccines that are routinely recommended by doctors and midwives during pregnancy are the pertussis or whooping cough vaccine (Tdap) and the flu vaccine.
“Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect a pregnant woman from the flu and to prevent serious flu-related problems, such as premature labor and delivery. Expectant parents can rest assured that these vaccines are very safe for mothers-to-be and their babies. Millions of pregnant women have safely received flu shots for many years, and the CDC continues to gather data showing that the flu shot is safe and effective during pregnancy,” said Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein.
“When you get a whooping vaccine, or Tdap, during each pregnancy, you’ll pass some antibodies that will help protect your baby for the first months of life. That is when babies are most vulnerable to the devastating complications associated with whooping cough. I encourage pregnant women to talk to their healthcare providers about these important vaccines,” Burstein concluded.
Information about vaccines recommended during pregnancy may be found at: www.cdc.gov/vaccines or by calling the ECDOH’s Immunization Action Plan at 716-858-2373.
For more information: