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First trimester (0-13 weeks)

Key facts

  • Getting vaccinated against influenza (flu) in your first trimester will protect both you and your baby from a virus that can have serious complications.

  • The influenza vaccine is free for all pregnant women in Australia.

  • It is recommended that you get vaccinated against influenza in every pregnancy.

Last updated on 25 April 2023.
What vaccines are recommended in my first trimester?

Getting vaccinated against influenza (commonly called ‘the flu’) in your first trimester will protect both you and your baby from one of the most common and highly contagious viral infections that can have serious complications.

Babies can’t be vaccinated against influenza until they are six months old. Until then, the vaccine you get during pregnancy will provide the best early protection from the influenza virus.

The vaccine is free for all pregnant women in Australia, and is recommended to be given during every pregnancy.

What do I need to do before the vaccination?

There’s no need to do anything special to get ready for your vaccination. You can get the influenza vaccination at any time during your pregnancy, and at any time of the year. 

The midwife or trained immunisation nurse at your antenatal clinic may be able to vaccinate you against influenza. If not, you can go to your GP or your local council clinic. Most GPs will need you to make an appointment if you require a vaccine.

What do I need to do after the vaccination?

Most people who have the influenza vaccine have no reaction at all. Some people have mild reactions that last between 12 and 24 hours and are easily treated at home. 

If your symptoms last longer than a couple of days, or if you are worried about how you feel after your vaccination, you can get help from your doctor, or your nearest emergency department, or by calling Health Direct on 1800 022 222.

A very small number of people have a severe allergic reaction to vaccines called ‘anaphylaxis’, where they can develop swelling, hives, breathing difficulties, lowered blood pressure and in severe cases, shock. Anaphylactic reactions are very rare – they occur in about one in a million people who have a vaccination.1 Midwives, nurses and GPs are trained to respond to an anaphylactic reaction with quick delivery of adrenaline.

Read more about the rare but serious side effects >

When do I need my next vaccination?

It is strongly recommended that pregnant women get vaccinated against whooping cough (also known as ‘pertussis’) in the second or third trimester, ideally between 20 and 32 weeks. 

What if I still have questions?

You can find more information on vaccination in pregnancy and at birth in our Resources section, and on these pages:

If you still have some questions remaining, write them down so that you can ask your midwife, nurse or GP at your next appointment.

  1. McNeil, M.M., Weintraub, E.S., Duffy, J., et al., Risk of anaphylaxis after vaccination in children and adults. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2016. 137(3): p. 868-78.