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Vaccinations in pregnancy

The vaccinations recommended in pregnancy are Whooping Cough, Flu and Covid-19. You can ask your midwife or GP for more information about any of the recommended vaccinations.

You should check with your midwife or GP around specific travel vaccinations, as some live vaccines are not suitable during pregnancy.

Whooping cough

Whooping cough (also known as pertussis) is a bacterial infection of the lungs and the breathing tubes.

It is easily spread from person to person and can be severe in young children.

Your child will be vaccinated against whooping cough as part of their immunisations at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, but it’s particularly important to be vaccinated during pregnancy to protect your newborn baby in their first few weeks of life.

The whooping cough vaccine is safe and recommended from 16 to 32 weeks of pregnancy. If for any reason the vaccine is missed during this period, it can still be offered up until you go into labour. It is better to get the vaccine as early as possible as it will work better to protect your baby. Speak to your midwife or GP surgery to book a vaccine appointment if you haven’t yet been offered a vaccine.

The whooping cough vaccine does not contain the whooping cough bacteria. It cannot infect you or your unborn baby and is safe to have if you are breastfeeding.

There is no vaccine just for whooping cough alone, so you will be offered a vaccine which also protects you against Polio, Diphtheria and Tetanus.

Flu (Influenza)

Flu is a contagious respiratory virus caused by the influenza virus. Pregnant individuals have a higher chance of developing complications if they get flu, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy. Flu can lead to babies being born earlier than expected or being small. Some studies show that vaccination while you are pregnant can also protect your baby against the flu in the first few months of their life too.

It’s therefore important to get vaccinated against flu whilst you are pregnant. It is safe to have at any stage of pregnancy, even if you are breastfeeding. This can be done at any scan or clinic appointment in your antenatal clinic, or by speaking to your GP surgery and arranging a vaccination.

Flu vaccines do not have a live virus so the vaccine cannot infect you or your unborn baby.


Some pregnant individuals can get life-threatening illness from COVID-19 – particularly if they have underlying health conditions.

It is highly recommended that you are vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine is safe to have at any stage of the pregnancy, even if you are breastfeeding. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain a live virus so cannot infect you or your unborn baby with coronavirus.

You can find more information and advice around vaccinations during pregnancy on the NHS website.


Page last reviewed: 02-07-2024

Next review due: 02-07-2027