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School-aged children are required to get immunizations in order to attend class with other kids. During flu season, pharmacies and medical offices are swamped with people who want the flu shot. When you travel to another country, certain immunizations are necessary before you even board the plane. However, what about all of the other immunizations that you may need but don’t necessarily know about? There are specific immunizations that women should get at various stages of their life, especially during and after being pregnant.
Basic Immunizations for All Adults
Adult women should have the following immunizations:
- (Human Papilloma Virus) HPV
These immunizations protect against their associated diseases and since they’re readily available, there’s not much of a reason to avoid getting them. Some immunizations have to be administered annually, such as the influenza immunization. Other immunizations have to be administered a few times during a lifetime. For example, it takes three doses of the HPV immunization to be effective, but you only need that round of three immunizations once.
Immunizations for Women by Age
Some immunizations can only be given to women of a certain age:
Herpes Zoster vaccinations, also referred to as the vaccine for shingles, have to be given once after the age of 60.
HPV vaccinations have to be given three times between the ages of 19 and 26.
Measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations have to be given at least once, sometimes twice, between the ages of 19 and 49. An additional vaccination has to be given after the age of 50.
Immunization and Pregnancy
Can I Even Be Vaccinated?
Yes, and you should be. Before you’re pregnant and during the time when you’re trying to get pregnant, you should make sure that you’re up-to-date on all of the important vaccinations for women. Make sure that you’re not pregnant when you get a live vaccine, though, since you should’t have one during your first month of pregnancy. Inactive vaccines, on the other hand, can be administered at any point before, during or after pregnancy.
Am I at Risk During Flu Season?
Absolutely. If you’re pregnant during flu season, you should absolutely get a flu vaccination. However, you’ll need the inactive flu vaccine, not the active one. You should talk to your doctor about which flu vaccines are safe for you and your child.
Should I Get Vaccinated After the Baby’s Born?
Yes. While you’re pregnant, your unborn child will be vaccinated when you are. However, after giving birth, they’re susceptible to diseases. Part of protecting your child is getting vaccinated yourself. Immediately following the birth of your child, you should receive vaccinations for diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus, even if you’re going to be breastfeeding. By receiving these vaccinations, you’re also keeping your child safe and healthy. Before leaving the hospital, you should also be vaccinated for measles, mumps, rubella and varicella. Also, your child will likely need vaccinations as well.
It’s important to discuss immunization with your doctor before deciding to get a vaccine. Certain immunizations may be unsafe for you depending on your current state of health, lifestyle or any medications you may be taking.