Feelings of immunity

Pregnant women told us about how their feelings of their own immunity to illnesses impacted on their decisions about getting vaccinated. Views on immunity during pregnancy were mixed. Some felt they already had some immunity from previous illness or vaccinations while others understood that their immune systems were weaker.

The following information was collected from women and is comprised of their personal viewpoints about vaccination


Women who felt they already had some immunity.

Some felt that having previously been ill with the illness or previously having been vaccinated against it, offered enough immunity to protect them from getting ill. These women often did not think that vaccinations were necessary as they had established an immunity to it already.*1

Evidence box
*1 Vaccinations have proven to be the most reliable way of providing protection to pregnant women.

the only one I chose not to have, actually, is the COVID one…and that was just purely for the fact that I've, I've already had three and I've had COVID. So I feel like my immunity is probably pretty good anyway. So I didn’t really feel the need for a, having an extra booster.
Jodie, 35-44

Some pregnant women felt that it was important to catch an illness so that their body can build up natural immunity to it. These women would decline a vaccination so that they could catch it and their body would build up natural protection.*2

Evidence box
*2 Flu, whooping cough and Covid-19 have potentially serious consequences for pregnant women and their unborn babies, so relying on natural immunity can leave pregnant women unprotected and at risk.

so, for me I just won’t take, take it, 'cause I know, if I have the flu then the body’s, should be able to fight it, so.
Tatenda, 25-34

Feeling that immunity was lessened by pregnancy.

However, some pregnant women did understand that their immune system was weaker whilst they were pregnant, making it more likely they would become ill. This was not always enough to encourage them to agree to vaccinations.

But I don't think it’s really triggered anything else, concerning my health. I think, if anything ... Obviously, at the minute, I’ve not really got an immune system, because baby’s taken it all….but if anything, it’s got better, because I don’t really think about it a lot, because I just deal with it.
Fiona, 25-34
I think so, I think so because I, again, I have read that, online and, and heard that, like, woman’s immune system gets a bit weaker.
Nirupama, 25-34


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