question and answer
August 1994
"Are there any potential or theoretical risks to the fetus if the mother receives hepatitis B vaccine in the first three months of pregnancy?" enquires XUAN-TRINH NGUYEN, MD, of Longueil-Est, Que.
The safety and efficacy of hepatitis B virus vaccines during pregnancy has not been formally studied. However, there is no reason to suspect any risk to the fetus since both plasma-derived and genetically engineered vaccines do not contain complete or live virus (they have surface subunits only). Therefore, if a woman is clearly at risk of acquiring HBV then pregnancy should bot be a contraindication to vaccination. On the other hand, if vaccination is simply routine and part of a universal program then administration can be deferred until after delivery. DM
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