Women Who Plan to Get Pregnant Need to Have These Vaccines
ILLUSTRATOR Natz Bade
  • Vaccines provide protection from serious life-threatening diseases, and they are important for both the young (find an updated schedule for children's vaccines here) and old. 

    The Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) and the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV) have made the recent immunization recommendations for adults available to the public. It includes those for all healthy individuals, women planning to get pregnant, healthcare workers, the elderly, and particular professions like veterinarians.

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    The guidelines puts in detail the recommendations for 15 types of vaccines. Below are six from the list that are advised for immunocompetent adults — those whose immune systems are working properly — and women of child-bearing age who plan to become pregnant.

    Vaccines for all healthy adults

    • Hepatitis A
      According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease of the liver. It’s transmitted through eating food or water contaminated by the Hepatitis A virus or via the fecal-oral route (a contaminated object is put into another person’s mouth). Serious and life-threatening complications of hepatitis A include acute liver failure. 

    • Influenza
      The flu is a respiratory disease that can infect the nose, throat and lungs, says the CDC. It can cause mild to severe illness that can lead to serious problems and complications. Worse, it’s also highly contagious so those living in the same household and can easily be passed to another family member. 

    • Human Papilloma
      recommended for adults up to 26 years old

      According to Dr. Cecilia Ladines-Llave, gynecologic oncologist at the Philippine General Hospital and chair of Asian Gynecology and Oncology Group, the human papilloma virus has more than 100 types, some of which can develop into cancer. A completed series of the HPV vaccine does not only protect against HPV-related cancer for life, such as cervical cancer, but from genital warts as well. 

    • Dengue
      recommended for adults up to 45 years old

      Dengue is a potentially fatal mosquito-borne disease. Its vaccine, Dengvaxia, continues to be surrounded by controversy. However, experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the PSMID, advise that the anti-dengue vaccine should only be given to those age 9 to 45 years old and have had dengue in the past. 
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    Vaccines ideal for women planning to become pregnant

    • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
      recommended for unvaccinated women 3 months before pregnancy 

      “Measles, mumps, and rubella are vaccine-preventable, viral diseases that have the potential to harm non-immune pregnant women and their fetuses/neonates if exposure occurs. The most concerning of these is rubella as it can cause congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) with devastating effects,” says an article published in the US National Institutes of Health.

      Contracting these diseases while pregnant can cause premature delivery, miscarriage, and neurological problems, abnormal development, and deafness in the baby. 

    • Tetanus, Diptheria, Acellular Pertussis (TdaP)
      also recommended for adults age 19 to 64 whose last TdaP vaccination was at least 10 years ago

      Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are very serious diseases, says the CDC. The TdaP vaccine will protect newborns who are most at risk for severe complications from pertussis. “Diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person through secretions from coughing or sneezing. Tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches, or wounds.”
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