Vaccine Safety Overview

While vaccines are effective in preventing the spread of disease, there sometimes is concern surrounding their safety. Some patients may express concern about side effects of vaccines, especially your patients who are pregnant or who are thinking about becoming pregnant.

Immunization against seasonal influenza (flu) and other vaccine-preventable diseases is an essential component of women’s prenatal, primary and preventive health care. A key barrier to vaccine acceptance is a lack of knowledge about the benefits and safety of vaccination.

For pregnant, adolescent, and adult women, advice and information from a trusted health care provider plays an important role in the decision to get vaccinated. As the primary health care providers for most women, ob-gyns are in a unique position to educate their patients about the benefits of immunization against seasonal flu and other vaccine-preventable diseases and to provide them with (or refer them for) all their recommended vaccinations. 

Vaccines undergo rigorous testing before they are approved by the FDA and are continuously monitored after approved. 

NEW: On March 15, 2017 Alycia Halladay,PhD, posted an informative and powerful article about the environmental links to autism, further debunking the myth that vaccines cause Autism. Read the full article: Let’s focus on the real environmental factors linked to autism. Dr. Halladay is the chief science officer at the Autism Science Foundation and an assistant adjunct professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Rutgers University.

Visit the following pages to learn more about vaccine safety:


Additional Resources

  • The Vaccines and Medications in Pregnancy Surveillance System (VAMPSS) is a collaboration between the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology (AAAAI) and the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists Research Center (OTIS). VAMPSS is a post-marketing surveillance system to monitor the use and safety of vaccines and medications during pregnancy. Additionally, OTIS conducts pregnancy studies independently. Go to for more information.  




Updated 12/14/17

This website is supported by an independent educational grant from Merck and an educational grant from Sanofi Pasteur U.S. 
ACOG does not allow companies to influence its programs, publications, or advocacy positions.