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USE OF ANTHRAX VACCINE IN PREGNANCY

Date of issue: June 2018, Version: 1.3

Anthrax vaccine is an inactivated vaccine intended for active immunisation against the disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. The vaccine is not routinely administered in the UK; however vaccination may be required in service personnel or those considered at risk of anthrax due to their occupation. 

Morbidity and mortality following anthrax infection are high and rapid treatment following exposure is therefore required. The benefits of prevention of anthrax infection in pregnancy in certain situations may therefore outweigh any unknown potential risk that anthrax vaccination poses to the fetus.

The available published data regarding exposure to the anthrax vaccine during pregnancy provides no compelling evidence that exposure to anthrax vaccine in pregnancy is teratogenic, however it is recommended that pregnant women ideally defer vaccination unless they are at risk of exposure to Bacillus anthracis.

Inadvertent exposure to the anthrax vaccine at any stage in pregnancy would not usually be regarded as medical grounds for termination of pregnancy or any additional fetal monitoring. Please contact UKTIS or consult TOXBASE for current advice on the management of anthrax in pregnancy.

This is a summary of the full UKTIS monograph for health care professionals and should not be used in isolation. The full UKTIS monograph and access to any hyperlinked related documents is available to NHS health care professionals who are logged in.

If you have a patient with exposure to a drug or chemical and require assistance in making a patient-specific risk assessment, please telephone UKTIS on 0344 892 0909 to discuss the case with a teratology specialist.

If you would like to report a pregnancy to UKTIS please click here to download our pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this monograph was accurate and up-to-date at the time of writing, however it cannot cover every eventuality and the information providers cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcomes of the measures recommended. The final decision regarding which treatment is used for an individual patient remains the clinical responsibility of the prescriber. This material may be freely reproduced for education and not for profit purposes within the UK National Health Service, however no linking to this website or reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of this service. This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from UKTIS.org to ensure you are using the most up-to-date version.