How long should you wait between vaccines if you’re pregnant?
We’ve been asked on WhatsApp how long pregnant women should wait between getting their routine vaccines in pregnancy, and getting a Covid-19 vaccine.
The latest guidance is that if you are pregnant, you can have the Covid-19 vaccine (or booster if eligible) at the same time as routine pregnancy vaccinations.
According to the government’s Green Book, which provides the latest information on vaccinations, the Covid-19 vaccine can be given at the same time as the whooping cough or influenza vaccine in pregnancy.
An update to the Green Book made after we first published this article, means it now specifies that the vaccines for flu and whooping cough during pregnancy can be given at the same time as the Covid-19 vaccine.
The website of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), says: “You can have the COVID-19 vaccine or booster at the same time as other vaccines such as the flu jab or the whooping cough vaccine.
“Sometimes it will not be possible to have the vaccines together for logistical reasons. If they aren’t given together then they can be administered at any interval, although separating the vaccines by a day or two will avoid confusion over any side-effects.”
There are a number of routine vaccines pregnant women are advised to get, such as those against seasonal flu and whooping cough. You are more likely to suffer flu complications if you are pregnant.
Whooping cough can be very dangerous for infants, but vaccinated pregnant women pass on the antibodies against it to their baby, giving them protection against the disease before they get their routine childhood vaccination against it at eight weeks.
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The anti-D injection
Pregnant women who are at risk of rhesus disease (where the mother has antibodies in her blood that can destroy her baby’s blood cells, leading to anaemia and jaundice) may be given an injection of medication to prevent this. This is known as routine antenatal anti-D prophylaxis, or the anti-D injection.
The NHS says you can have your Covid vaccine “at any time in relation to the anti-D injection.”
Having the Covid vaccine during pregnancy
The Covid-19 vaccine is recommended in pregnancy in the UK. Several studies have shown that severe Covid illness is more likely for women who are pregnant than those who aren’t, especially for those in the third trimester.
There is more real-world safety data from the US in pregnant women for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, so the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (part of Public Health England which advises the government on who gets vaccinated, with what and when) advises that those vaccines be offered in pregnancy.
The RCOG says that second doses of the Covid vaccine are given eight weeks after the first dose, and that it recommends receiving two doses before giving birth or entering the third trimester.
The information included in this article contains the latest evidence and official guidance available at the time it was written. This is not a substitute for medical advice. If you require specific medical advice please consult your GP or midwife.
Update 4 November 2021
We updated this article to reflect changes in official guidance, from having a seven day gap between Covid-19 vaccines and other vaccines, to there being no need for a gap.