Vaccinations in pregnancy

There are two vaccinations recommended by The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th edition during pregnancy.

Pertussis vaccination is free for all pregnant woman in NSW under the National Immunisation Program (NIP). The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th edition recommends dTpa vaccine as a single dose during the third trimester of each pregnancy, ideally between 28 and 32 weeks. However, if the vaccine is not given during this period it should still be given at any time during the third trimester up to delivery.

Vaccination is recommended with each pregnancy to provide maximal protection to every infant; including pregnancies which are closely spaced (e.g. less than two years). It is recommended that a recall/reminder be recorded in the patient file for when the patient is at 28 weeks’ gestation. 

The seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended and funded for pregnant women under the NIP. It is safe to administer at any time during pregnancy or while the mother is breastfeeding. Women face a high risk of severe consequences if they contract influenza during pregnancy. The timing of vaccination depends on the time of the year relative to the influenza season, vaccine availability, stage of pregnancy and the anticipated duration of immunity. If the vaccine is not yet available, advise the patient when it does become available (usually early April of each year) and enter a recall/reminder for the patient.

For more information, the NCIRS Factsheet is a useful tool to help raise awareness of the importance of vaccinations before and during pregnancy. NSW Health consumer resources are also available to order or download for your patients.

Further information is available on Healthpathways SydneyInfluenza Vaccination; Pertussis Vaccine for pregnant and postpartum women username: connected; password : healthcare

Educational videos- 2018 Influenza Vaccinations during pregnancy 

Despite the influenza vaccine being free for pregnant women under the National Immunisation Program, vaccination rates remain low in this group. To maintain efforts in promoting the importance of influenza vaccination in this cohort, this year the Department has released three videos (one for health professionals and two for consumers).

The videos highlight the risks associated with influenza during pregnancy and the benefits of receiving an influenza vaccine.

Tonic Health Media is currently broadcasting the consumer videos in general practice waiting rooms during the month of May 2018, and has sent a link to the provider video through their Electronic Direct Mail contact list including GPs, obstetricians, midwives and practice nurses.

The Department is also promoting these videos through social media channels including Facebook and Twitter and on the Department’s immunisation website.

For health professionals:

For pregnant women: