Influenza vaccination during pregnancy
“Influenza vaccination is safe during pregnancy”
Influenza and pregnancy
Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious disease of the upper airways and lungs caused by influenza viruses, and can cause potentially life threatening illness.
It creates serious widespread infection each year, with outbreaks usually occurring in the winter months.
Pregnant women and young babies are at an increased risk of developing serious complications from influenza.
A baby that has been exposed to the influenza virus faces a high risk of death due to the symptoms of influenza having a serious affect on an underdeveloped immune system.
Protecting mum, protecting baby
Influenza vaccination for pregnant women helps in two ways:
Immunisation against flu not only protects mum from this season’s flu but it provides ongoing protection to baby after birth and into the first six months of life.
Babies born to mothers who have been vaccinated against influenza in pregnancy have more antibodies against the disease than babies whose mothers weren’t vaccinated.
Mum provides protection to baby through the placenta soon after she is vaccinated. The vaccination protects baby after birth, when they are most vulnerable, until they are old enough to be vaccinated at 6 months of age.
Safe for mum, safe for baby
The influenza vaccine is an inactivated vaccine, so it is safe for pregnant women and their babies. It is one of the recommended vaccines for pregnant women, alongside the whooping cough vaccine.
Get your free vaccine
The influenza vaccine is provided free by Queensland Health to pregnant women anytime throughout their pregnancy.
Make an appointment today:
- with your GP
- via some local councils (ring your local council for details).
Please note: your GP may charge a consultation fee but the vaccine will be free.
Partners of pregnant women
Both parents should be vaccinated against influenza to give your baby the best protection.
Any other adults in close contact with newborn babies should be vaccinated at least 2 weeks before any close encounters with the baby.
I have had the flu before, do I still need to get vaccinated?
Yes. Anyone who has had the flu can still become reinfected and spread the infection to others, including baby.
Can I be vaccinated against the flu and whooping cough at the same time?
Yes. You can get vaccinated for the flu and whooping cough at the same time or at different visits.
The flu vaccine can be different each year and is usually available from April (but check with your GP when making an appointment). You should get the flu vaccine when it’s available, regardless of what trimester of pregnancy you are in.
When booking your vaccination, you should consider the flu season and not wait until you are 20 weeks pregnant to have the flu vaccination.
Find out more