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Live Vaccines & Pregnancy (x-posted)

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Is there a significant risk in giving a family member of a pregnant woman a live vaccine? Specifically the MMR? I know pregnant women should not have it themselves, but wonder if it's possible for it to shed from another family member?

post #2 of 2


I have done a lot of research on this very topic.  We agonized over when to give my DD her MMR.  We finally decided to give it at her 4 year well check, since we would be TTC soon.  I knew my titers were good, but I wanted the insurance of her not contracting it while I was pregnant. 


7 days after she was vaccinated, I was shocked to find out I was 4 weeks pregnant.  I flipped.  I researched everything under the sun.  I had my OB run several different blood titers.  From everything I could find online, transmission is EXTREMELY unlikely with the rubella component.  Live virus is found in the throat of recently immunized children, but secondary transmission has only been documented via breastmilk.  Not to say it couldn't happen, or hasn't.  But there's no documentation.  Take that for what it's worth. 


The thing that finally put my mind (sort of) at ease, was that in 500+ accidental MMR vaccinations in women in their first trimester, NO birth defects were shown after following the children for many years.  So, had they actually given ME the vaccine, theoretically I would have nothing to worry about.  So, worst case scenario, my DD was shedding the attenuated strain of Rubella, I contracted it, it still should not have been any threat. 


Now.  Would I vaccinate a family member knowingly?  No.  But just because it caused me to worry the whole pregnancy, until I was good and sure she could hear, and even until I could see her eyes when she was born.  Hope that was helpful!  Best of luck in your decision!

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