Vaccination Safety for Breastfeeding Mothers
Vaccinations are important to both maternal and child health. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) develops recommendations on how to use vaccines to control disease in the United States. ACIP Vaccine Recommendations and Guidelines include the age(s) when the vaccines should be given, the number of doses needed, the amount of time between doses, and precautions and contraindications.
According to the ACIP’s General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization in Special Situations, except for smallpox and yellow fever vaccines, neither inactivated nor live-virus vaccines administered to a lactating woman affect the safety of breastfeeding for women or their infants. Although live viruses in vaccines can replicate in the mother, the majority of live viruses in vaccines have been demonstrated not to be excreted in human milk. Inactivated, recombinant, subunit, polysaccharide, and conjugate vaccines, as well as toxoids, pose no risk for mothers who are breastfeeding or for their infants.
Breastfeeding is a contraindication for smallpox vaccination of the mother because of the theoretical risk for contact transmission from mother to infant. Two serious adverse events have been reported in exclusively breastfed infants whose mothers were vaccinated with Yellow Fever vaccine. Until more information is available, Yellow Fever vaccine should be avoided in breastfeeding women. However, when travel of nursing mothers to a Yellow Fever endemic area cannot be avoided or postponed, these women should be vaccinated.1
- Staples JE, Gershman M, Fischer M. Yellow fever vaccine: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Recomm Rep. 2010;59(RR-7):1-27.
|Vaccination Safety for Use in Lactation|
|Contraindicated for Use in Lactation (DO NOT ADMINISTER)|
|Safe for Use in Lactation|
- ACIP Vaccine Recommendations and Guidelines – CDC
- Kroger AT, Duchin J, Vázquez M. General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization. Best Practices Guidance of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). [PDF-1.19MB]
- The Transfer of Drugs and Therapeutics into Human Breast Milk: An Update on Selected Topics – American Academy of Pediatrics
- Red Book: Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases – American Academy of Pediatrics
- Red Book: Section 2: Recommendations for Care of Children in Special Circumstances > Human Milk – American Academy of Pediatrics
- Explore Travel Health with the CDC Yellow Book – CDC
- LactMed – Drugs and Lactation Database
- Page last reviewed: June 7, 2018
- Page last updated: June 7, 2018
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