Vaccinations to protect you and your baby.

Last updated: 09 January 2024

​​​​​​​​Before you become pregnant

Vaccination can protect you and your unborn baby from harmful disease. It’s important you are up to date with your vaccinations before you become pregnant. This is because:

  • some diseases can harm your pregnancy
  • some vaccines are not safe to give once you become pregnant.

A simple blood test can show if you are protected.

Disease Vaccine Information
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) MMR vaccine Measles, mumps or rubella disease in pregnancy can cause miscarriage, premature delivery or serious birth defects.
Chickenpox Varicella vaccine Chickenpox disease in pregnancy can cause severe birth defects.

You should not get pregnant for one month after you have received an MMR or varicella vaccine as these vaccines may be harmful to your baby.

Speak to your health care provider if you are already pregnant and have not been vaccinated against MMR or chickenpox. They may:

  • refer you for a blood test to see if you are already protected against these diseases
  • give further advice on how you can protect yourself.

Vaccinations in pregnancy

The vaccines recommended in pregnancy (influenza, pertussis and COVID-19) are safe and effective for you and your baby. Vaccination in pregnancy helps protect your baby against these diseases and their complications. After you are vaccinated, your antibodies will pass to your unborn baby in the womb.

You can book a vaccine appointment through your:

  • doctor
  • maternity care provider looking after you (e.g. midwife, obstetrician)
  • participating pharmacist, or
  • Aboriginal Medical Service.

Discuss your vaccine recommendations with your health care provider.

Vaccine When Cost Information
Influenza (flu) vaccine Any stage of every pregnancy. Free* for pregnant women Pregnant women are more likely to get very sick from the flu. This can put you and your baby at risk of needing hospital care.
Influenza vaccine helps protect you from serious flu complications. It also helps protect your baby in the first 6 months of their life, when they can get their own flu vaccine.
Babies under 6 months old are more likely to go to hospital with flu than older children.

Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine

Between 20-32 weeks of every pregnancy (often given at 28 weeks).
May be given early to women at high risk of early delivery.
Free* for pregnant women Whooping cough is very contagious. It can cause a life-threatening infection in young babies.
Whooping cough vaccine in pregnancy can protect your baby, until they can get vaccinated at 6 weeks old.
Those closest to your baby (such as your partner or your baby's grandparents) should also be vaccinated if they have not received the vaccine in the past 10 years. Ask them to be vaccinated at least 2 weeks before your baby is born.
Make sure any other children are up to date with their vaccines.
COVID-19 vaccine Any stage of pregnancy. Free* Unvaccinated pregnant women are at increased risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 and are recommended to receive a 2-dose course of the vaccine.

*Some providers may charge an administration or consultation fee. Ask your doctor, midwife, or pharmacist if this applies to you.

When your baby is born

For you

It is safe for you to receive most routine vaccinations immediately after you give birth, even if you are breastfeeding. Speak to your provider about what vaccines you may need.

For your baby

On-time vaccination is your baby's best protection against preventable and serious diseases.

All vaccines given to children in Australia are carefully tested and monitored to make sure they are safe and effective.

Contact numbers

  • Speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 (Pregnancy, Birth and Baby helpline). Available 7am to midnight, every day.
  • MotherSafe for concerns about exposures in pregnancy, including infections and vaccinations:
  • Sydney metropolitan area 9382 6539
  • Non-metropolitan area 1800 647 848.
Current as at: Tuesday 9 January 2024
Contact page owner: Immunisation