Many women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy have concerns regarding immunizations. What are the risks? Should I be immunized before I get pregnant? How long should I wait following immunization to attempt pregnancy? These are typical questions.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) immunity and vaccination status should be considered with respect to the following infectious diseases:

This virus can be associated with chronic hepatitis and other liver diseases. Typically, screening for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is included in the routine antenatal blood panel. The presence of HBsAg indicates active infection and risk to the neonate if not identified prenatally. If the mother is positive, the pediatrician should be informed to ensure prompt neonatal care once the infant is delivered.

If the patient is HBsAg and hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb) negative, she can receive immunization during pregnancy. Women considered at risk are: those working in the healthcare arena; those with a history of multiple sexual partners, IV drug use, or sexually transmitted infections.

The 2012–2013 flu season, which typically peaks midwinter, is off to an early start, according to infectious-disease experts. Initial cases are being reported, primarily in southern and midwestern states. The CDC estimates that anywhere from 24,000 to 36,000 Americans die each year as a result of flu-related illnesses.  ACOG and the CDC recommend that all pregnant women, as well as those attempting pregnancy, be provided inactivated flu virus vaccination.

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