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Although it is not known if Boostrix passes through breast milk, the vaccine is considered safe for use when nursing a child. A similar vaccine, which contains the same components as Boostrix and in higher doses, is given directly to infants, so it is probably safe to have take Boostrix while breastfeeding. However, just to be safe, women should discuss the possible risks with their healthcare provider.

Is Boostrix Safe While Breastfeeding?

Boostrix® (Tdap vaccine) is a tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine used as a "booster" for adolescents and adults. In general, this medication is considered safe for use while breastfeeding.

What Does the Research Say?

It is not known whether Boostrix passes through breast milk. However, this is probably not important, as a similar vaccine (the DTaP, which contains the same components in higher doses) is given directly to infants.
Currently, it is recommended that pregnant women get a Tdap vaccine (either Boostrix or Adacel) with each pregnancy. This gives the vaccine a chance to work before the baby is born and provides maternal antibodies directly to the baby through the placenta.
However, if a woman does not get vaccinated prior to or during pregnancy, Boostrix can be given after delivery, ideally while the woman is still in the hospital, even if she is breastfeeding. This helps to prevent exposing the newborn to pertussis, but does not provide the benefit of antibodies passed through the placenta. It is a good idea for other family members to get the vaccine as well if they have not yet received it.
Boostrix helps prevent infant pertussis in at least two ways. It helps prevent pertussis in the mother (which could easily spread to the infant), and it protects the infant directly, since maternal antibodies produced in response to the vaccine pass through breast milk and help the infant fight off pertussis. In addition, if it is given during pregnancy, not before or after, maternal antibodies against pertussis will pass through the placenta to the baby.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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