Pregnancy is a joyous time, but it can also be a cautious time because you want to make the best choices possible for your health and for the health of your baby. Throughout your pregnancy, there are several foods, drinks, and activities you’re advised to avoid. You’ll also need to discuss any medications you’re taking with your GP to ensure that you can continue your treatment without harming your baby.
While you know you may not be able to take certain medications or eat some foods, you might be wondering whether it’s safe for you to get vaccines when you’re pregnant. Many vaccines are live, attenuated vaccines that contain a diluted version of the disease the vaccine is designed to fight. By having a weakened version of the virus in your system, your body creates antibodies that provide immunity if you are later exposed to the virus.
Examples of live vaccines include the chickenpox, MMR, and yellow fever vaccinations.
Vaccination During Pregnancy
There is no current evidence to show that live vaccines cause harm or infection to a developing foetus. As a general rule of thumb, however, any unnecessary live vaccines are advised to be postponed until after the baby has been born.
This recommendation can be overruled if the risk of infection outweighs the risk of vaccination. In these situations, the risk of harm from an infection poses more of a danger to the mother and baby than any potential complications from vaccination. This includes the yellow fever vaccine.
What is Yellow Fever?
Yellow fever is a viral infection spread through mosquito bites. Most people in the UK are at a very low risk of being exposed to yellow fever unless they are travelling or working in an area where the disease is endemic like South America or sub-Saharan Africa.
Once infected, people may initially experience:
- Muscle aches
About 25% of people who contract yellow fever will go on to develop more serious symptoms like jaundice and bleeding from the eyes and mouth. At this deadly stage, up to half of people won’t survive.
Yellow Fever Vaccination and Pregnancy
If your planned travel can’t be avoided and you’re going to be at risk of exposure to yellow fever whilst you’re pregnant, speak to your healthcare provider or GP about whether you should get the vaccine.
Remember: whether you get vaccinated or not, you should always take precautions against exposure while you’re travelling in a region where yellow fever is found. Use mosquito repellent, sleep under mosquito nets, and wear clothing that will thoroughly cover your skin.
Yellow Fever Vaccination in Streatham
Touchwood Pharmacy offers comprehensive travel clinic services to help you get the most out of your upcoming trip. We can provide you with advice, medications, and travel vaccines to keep you safe.
Contact us or book online for effective yellow fever vaccination in Walsall, Ramsgate, and Sydenham.