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Pregnancy and the COVID-19 Vaccine: Is It Safe?

Woman sitting on sofa with pregnant partner

Many expecting, trying, or recently pregnant people are understandably apprehensive about how the COVID-19 vaccine might impact their fertility or ability to get pregnant. However, research shows that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine are stronger than any known or potential risks of being vaccinated while pregnant.

When a person gets pregnant, the experience takes a toll on their body and they lose some of the capacity of their lungs. So as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic – a public health threat that greatly impacts the respiratory system and lungs – COVID-19 vaccines can be life-saving for folks who are exploring pregnancy.

What else is the research saying?

While clinical research and evidence on the safety and effectiveness of getting a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant is growing, in these early stages, findings still suggest that people who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, have future plans to get pregnant, or who are currently breastfeeding, should get vaccinated against COVID-19. Ask your healthcare provider any questions about nursing after vaccination, like how long do you pump for before nursing again? Can you nurse immediately after vaccination? And will the vaccine give my breastfeeding child antibodies? These are all important questions new parents may have before vaccination.

Early data on the safety of receiving an mRNA Moderna or Pfizer- BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy are encouraging as three safety monitoring systems “did not find any safety concerns for people who had received an mRNA vaccine late in pregnancy or for their babies.” Furthermore, according to the CDC, “scientists have not found an increased risk for miscarriage among people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine just before and during early pregnancy (before 20 weeks of pregnancy).”

The CDC states that people who are pregnant or recently pregnant are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 – when compared to people who are not pregnant. In addition, people who have COVID-19 during pregnancy are at increased risk of preterm birth and stillbirth. They also might be at increased risk of other pregnancy complications. So it is even more important that folks experiencing pregnancy, looking to get pregnant, or who are recently pregnant, get vaccinated

The CDC shares these helpful facts to know about pregnancy, COVID-19 and getting a COVID-19 vaccine:

  • COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.
  • People who are pregnant may receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.
  • There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.
  • COVID-19 vaccines do not cause COVID-19 infection, including in people who are pregnant or their babies.

When you are ready, visit vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find a COVID-19 vaccine site near you. Remember: the COVID-19 vaccine has not been shown to harm pregnant people and that healthy babies have been delivered by vaccinated people throughout the pandemic.