Boostrix and Pregnancy

The FDA has classified Boostrix (Tdap vaccine) as a pregnancy Category B medication, which means it is generally considered safe for use during pregnancy. It is now recommended that women get vaccinated with each pregnancy.

Can I Receive Boostrix While Pregnant?

Boostrix® (Tdap vaccine) is a vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). It is used as a booster in individuals age 10 and older. This vaccine is recommended for use in pregnant women. 
 

Boostrix and Pregnancy Category B

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category B is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans but do not appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. Medications that have been shown to be safe for use in pregnancy in humans (even though they have caused problems in laboratory animals) are also given a Category B rating.
 
However, it is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category B medicine should be given to a pregnant woman only if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
 
Boostrix has not been adequately studied in pregnant animals or humans. Preliminary studies in rats did not suggest that the vaccine caused any problems when given during pregnancy.
 
Although most people should receive only one dose of Boostrix, there is one exception. It is recommended that pregnant women receive a dose with each pregnancy, even if they have received the vaccine previously. Ideally, it should be given any time between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, although it can be given any time. 
 
Making sure the mother is vaccinated against pertussis helps to prevent exposing the newborn to the disease. In addition, giving it with each pregnancy helps to boost the newborn's ability to fight pertussis, since the baby will receive antibodies against it from the mother if she is vaccinated during pregnancy. It is a good idea for other family members to get the vaccine as well if they have not yet received it.
 
Try not to wait until the very end of pregnancy in order to get this vaccine, as it takes about two weeks to start working. If, for some reason, you did not get vaccinated before or during pregnancy, it is also acceptable to receive this vaccine after having your baby (even if you are breastfeeding), although this is not ideal.
 
 
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