Can I have travel vaccinations during pregnancy?

While pregnant, it’s best to avoid visiting countries or areas where vaccinations are required. 

Live vaccines

Live vaccines are thought to pose the greatest risk. This type of vaccine contains a small amount of live virus, which may potentially affect your baby. Live vaccines include:

It may not always be possible to avoid visiting destinations which require vaccinations while you are pregnant. If this is the case, you should speak to your GP who will be able to outline the risks and benefits of any vaccinations that you may require.

If there is a high risk of disease in the area you are travelling to, it's often safer for you to have a vaccine rather than travel unprotected. This is because most diseases will be more harmful to your baby than a vaccine.

Pregnancy and malaria

Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to malaria. This is a very serious condition which, in severe cases, can be fatal for both a mother and her baby. Malaria predominantly affects countries in:

  • Africa
  • South America and Central America
  • Asia
  • the Middle East

If possible, you should avoid travelling to countries in these areas if you are pregnant. However, if you're unable to postpone or cancel your trip, preventative treatment is available. The treatment you receive will depend on the stage of your pregnancy.

If you're pregnant, you should take precautions against being bitten by insects. For example, you should:

  • use a mosquito repellent that's specifically recommended for use in pregnancy
  • wear a long sleeved top, full length trousers and socks to cover up your skin from dusk until dawn
  • always sleep under a mosquito net

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 30/05/2013

Next review due: 29/05/2015