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Pneumovax and Pregnancy

Although the vaccine has not been studied in pregnant humans or animals, Pneumovax is not expected to cause any complications (such as birth defects) if received during pregnancy. Pneumovax is considered a pregnancy Category C medication, which means that it may be given to women who are expecting if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Is It Safe to Get Pneumovax During Pregnancy?

Pneumovax® (pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine) is a vaccine approved to prevent pneumococcal disease such as pneumonia. It is approved for use in individuals age two and older. At this time, it is uncertain whether this vaccine is safe for use during pregnancy.
 

What Is Pregnancy Category C?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans but do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
 
In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
 
This vaccine has not been studied in any pregnant animals or humans. Pneumovax is not expected to cause significant or serious problems during human pregnancy. The reported cases of its use during human pregnancy do not suggest a link between the vaccine and any birth defects or complications. However, because Pneumovax has not been adequately studied in pregnant women, the possibility of problems cannot be ruled out.
 
Some small studies have suggested that vaccinating pregnant women with Pneumovax may be a good way to prevent serious pneumococcal disease in newborns, since the infant version of the pneumococcal vaccine (Prevnar® or Prevnar 13®) is not given to babies under the age of two months old.
 
In general, anyone who fits in the recommended groups for vaccination (such as people without a spleen) should receive the vaccination, pregnant or not.
 
(For more information about who should receive this vaccine, see Pneumovax Uses).
 
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Pneumovax Vaccine Information

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