Vaccines and Breastfeeding

Baby breastfeeding while mum gets a vaccine

Vaccines and Breastfeeding

Doctor holding Immune System sign

So, whats the story in general with vaccines while breastfeeding?

According to the CDC (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention 2021), all the current vaccines are considered safe for breastfeeding mothers except the Smallpox and Yellow Fever Vaccines.

The following list is safe for Breastfeeding mothers, and explains how and why they work:

This is not MY work, but adapted from the CDC and See references below:

Inactivated Anthrax “Inactivated vaccines use the killed version of the germ that causes a disease.

Inactivated vaccines usually don’t provide immunity (protection) that’s as strong as live vaccines.”

Hepatitis A
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Japanese Encephalitis
Polio (IPV)
Live Attenuated Influenza Live vaccines use a weakened (attenuated) form of a germ that causes the disease. Because they are so similar to the disease they prevent, they provide a longer lasting immunity.
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
Varicella (Chickenpox)
Typhoid (Ty21a)
Recombinant Hepatitis B Recombinant, Conjugate, and Polysaccharide vaccines use specific pieces of the germ, like its protein or sugar. They give a strong immune response and can be used on people with a compromised immune system.

Downside= “may need booster shots to achieve ongoing protection against the disease.”

Meningococcal meningitis (MenB)
Conjugate Haemophilus Influenzae type B (HiB)
Meningococcal meningitis (MPSV4, MenACWY)
Pneumococcal (PCV13)
Polysaccharide Pneumococcal (PPSV23)
Typhoid (ViCPS)
Toxoid Tetanus, Diptheria, Acellular Pertussis/ Tetanus, Diptheria (Tdap/Td) “Toxoid vaccines use a toxin (harmful product) made by the germ that causes a disease. They create immunity to the parts of the germ that cause a disease instead of the germ itself. That means the immune response is targeted to the toxin instead of the whole germ”.

You may need booster to ensure ongoing protection.


mother getting her vaccine

I think its great to understand what vaccines do and how they work, so that we are more informed when we need to get them. There is a lot of concern out there at present from pregnant and breastfeeding mums around the Covid-19 vaccine and its safety. For Information on the Covid-19 Vaccines and Breastfeeding, that post is here:


Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (2021). Understanding how COVID-19 vaccines work. [Accessed on 22nd Jan 2021]

Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (2020) Vaccinations. [Accessed 22nd Jan 2021).

Vaccines (2020). Vaccine Types.,as%20strong%20as%20live%20vaccines [Accessed Online on 22/01/2021].