Q: What vaccines do I need to protect my newborn baby?
A: Current recommendations state that pregnant women should receive both the flu vaccine and the pertussis/tetanus vaccine. "Pregnant women should get the vaccine preferably during their third trimester or late second trimester (after 20 weeks gestation). If not vaccinated during pregnancy, then they should get the vaccine right after delivery, before they leave the hospital." According to the CDC, getting vaccinated during pregnancy provides some immunity to the infant until the routine immunizations for infants can provide the infant with its own antibody response to the diseases. New and expectant parents should discuss the need for these vaccines with their obstetrician/gynecologist before delivery. Read more at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents.
-- Dr. Nita Shumaker, pediatrician, Galen; Medical Group; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society
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