Vaccines for Women Before Pregnancy, During Pregnancy and After Childbirth, Ministry of Health
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Pregnancy and Childbirth

Vaccines for Women Before Pregnancy, During Pregnancy and After Childbirth


Vaccines have an important role in safeguarding the health of a woman and her children before pregnancy, during pregnancy and after childbirth. 
 

Vaccines Recommended Prior to Pregnancy

 
For women of childbearing age, and particularly for women who are about to become pregnant, it is recommended to find out from Tipat Halav family health centers or from the treating physician about the recommended vaccines for all adults, and for pregnant women in particular.

1. Vaccines against Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Chicken Pox 

It is advised that a woman who is planning to become pregnant should check whether she is vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella (German measles) and chicken pox.
The vaccines against these diseases are live attenuated vaccines and are not given during pregnancy, even to women who are not immunized against those diseases.

Why is it recommended to receive the vaccine?
There are risks to the health of the woman and of the unborn child if the woman is infected with these diseases:
  • Measles - A woman who is ill with measles during pregnancy is at increased risk for preterm birth and for miscarriage.
  • Mumps - A woman who is ill with mumps during the first trimester of pregnancy is at increased risk for death of the unborn baby.
  • Rubella (German measles) - A woman who is ill with rubella during pregnancy could suffer a miscarriage. Furthermore, there is a high risk of the baby being born with severe defects, including heart, eye and brain defects.
  • Chicken pox (varicella) - A woman who is ill with chicken pox during pregnancy is at increased risk for severe illness and complications such as pneumonia. Furthermore, the baby is at risk for congenital defects.

In order to be immunized against measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox, two doses of vaccine against these diseases, separated by a time interval of at least one month, or documentation of having been infected with the disease (by means of blood tests), are required.

It is advisable for a pregnant woman who is not immunized against these diseases and is exposed to a person ill with one of these diseases or with shingles (herpes zoster) to consult with her treating physician.

Where can the vaccine can be received?
  • The vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (German measles) can be received at Tipat Halav family health center, at the health bureaus or at the HMOs (kupot cholim), free of charge.
  • The vaccine against chicken pox can be received at the HMOs (kupot cholim) or at the health bureaus, and needs to be paid for.
    It is recommended to wait a month after receiving the vaccine before becoming pregnant.


2. Vaccine against Papilloma Virus

As part of the vaccination routine recommended for women of child bearing age, it is recommended to women age 9 – 26 to be vaccinated against the papilloma virus. 
The vaccination is not recommended during pregnancy.

Since the vaccine against the papilloma virus is a live attenuated vaccine, it cannot be received during pregnancy. It is therefore recommended for women who have not received the vaccine to be vaccinated prior to becoming pregnant.

Why is it recommended to receive the vaccine?
The vaccine against the papilloma virus prevents most cases of cervical cancer and a considerable proportion of cases of cancer of the vulva, the vagina, the anus, the mouth and the pharynx. The vaccine also prevents genital warts.

Where can the vaccine can be received?
The vaccine against the papilloma virus can be received at the HMOs (kupot cholim) or at the health bureaus.


 

Vaccines Recommended During Pregnancy


Safety of the Vaccine
It is permitted and even recommended to vaccinate women with certain vaccines, which are not live, during pregnancy.
The type of vaccine given to pregnant women is the killed (bacteria/virus) type or the toxoid type.


1. Vaccine against Influenza

It is recommended for every pregnant woman, in every pregnancy, to receive a vaccine against influenza. 

Why is it recommended to receive the vaccine? 
Pregnant women are in a high risk group for being severely ill with influenza and for suffering complications. It is therefore very important for a pregnant woman to receive a vaccine against influenza.
Vaccination of a pregnant woman against influenza immunizes not just the mother but also the unborn baby. Babies whose mothers were vaccinated during pregnancy have less respiratory tract illness in general, less influenza in particular, and fewer hospitalizations. Studies show that vaccine against influenza given to pregnant women reduces influenza morbidity of infants up to the age of 6 months by 63%. 

Where can the vaccine can be received?
The vaccine against influenza can be received at the HMOs (kupot cholim), free of charge.


2. Vaccine against Whooping Cough

It is recommended for every pregnant woman, in every pregnancy, to receive a vaccine against whooping cough, preferably between Weeks 27-36 of the pregnancy.

Why is it recommended to receive the vaccine?
Whooping cough is dangerous to delicate babies and toddlers due to the severe complications of pneumonia and inflammation of the brain which could develop as a result of the disease.
It is not possible to begin vaccinating a baby against whooping cough until the age of two months, and until enough doses of the vaccine have been received, he does not have adequate protection against the disease.
Giving the vaccine to a pregnant woman protects the baby in two ways:
  • By the transfer of antibodies against whooping cough via the placenta to the fetus, which will protect him after he is born.
  • By protecting the mother against becoming ill with the disease and transmitting it to the baby.

Where can the vaccine can be received?
The vaccine against whooping cough is included in the health services basket for pregnant women, and can be received at the HMOs (kupot cholim) in exchange for copayment.
The vaccine against whooping cough is given in combination with the vaccine against diphtheria and tetanus and sometimes also with the vaccine against polio.



3. Vaccines given to Pregnant Women in Special Cases
  • Vaccine against tetanus and diphtheria - given after injury or prior to overseas travel.
  • Vaccines for persons travelling abroad - given to a pregnant woman who is planning overseas travel.
    It is recommended to contact the travelers’ clinics to find out which vaccines are recommended.

 

Vaccines Recommended After Childbirth

 
After childbirth, a woman is recommended to complete the vaccines that she is missing as per the table of recommended vaccines for adults
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