Vaccination FAQs

  • Medical Author:

    Dr. Eddie Hooker is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville and at Wright State University. His areas of expertise include emergency medicine, epidemiology, health-services management, and public health.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

What vaccines can women receive while pregnant?

Women who are pregnant should not receive the MMR, oral typhoid yellow fever, varicella, or zoster vaccines. These vaccines are made from live attenuated viruses and potentially could cause a problem. Pregnant women may receive tetanus and influenza vaccines as needed. It is safe to receive hepatitis A & B, meningococcal, and pneumococcal vaccines.

What are invalid reasons for postponing vaccination?

Vaccination should not be postponed for any of the following reasons:

  • Mild illness: Low-grade fever, colds, upper respiratory-tract infections, and mild diarrhea are not reasons to put off vaccination.
  • Antibiotics: The current administration of antibiotics is not a reason to put off vaccination.
  • Household contacts of pregnant women or immunosuppressed patients: Living in a house with a pregnant woman or an immunosuppressed patient is not a reason to put off vaccination. Two exceptions are the live attenuated nasal influenza vaccine and smallpox vaccine.
  • Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is not a reason for either the mother or baby to put off vaccination.
  • Preterm birth: Preterm birth is not a reason to put off vaccination.
  • Generalized allergies: Children with allergies, but no history of reactions to vaccine components, should receive vaccines as recommended.
  • Family history: Having a family member who had an adverse reaction to a vaccine is not a reason to put off vaccination.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/23/2016

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