We do recommend that pregnant women and breastfeeding women consider getting a COVID-19 vaccine. The safety of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy or while breastfeeding is still being studied. However, pregnant women are more likely to get seriously ill if they get COVID-19.
Pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19
Although the overall risk of severe illness is low, pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to non-pregnant women. Severe illness includes illness that results in intensive care admission, mechanical ventilation, or death. Additionally, pregnant women with COVID-19 might be at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, compared with pregnant women without COVID-19.
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe while pregnant or lactating?
There is a limited amount of safety data available on COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy at this time, but what we know so far is reassuring. The studies done before the first vaccines were approved for emergency use did not include pregnant or lactating women. But based on how the vaccines were made and the science behind how the vaccines work in the body, experts believe they should be safe in pregnancy. The CDC and some of the COVID-19 vaccine
makers are now starting or planning studies that will include pregnant and lactating women. Thousands of pregnant women have already chosen to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Some of them have enrolled in the CDC’s vaccination tracking program. Data from this program has not show any safety concerns.
If you are planning on receiving a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant, we encourage you to participate in the CDC’s Vsafe vaccine pregnancy registry.
A vaccine may protect you from severe illness, which could help both you and your fetus.
Why does it benefit pregnant women to receive the vaccine now versus waiting until after giving birth?
Data have demonstrated that symptomatic pregnant individuals with COVID-19 are at increased risk of more severe illness and death compared with nonpregnant peers. Many pregnant individuals have medical conditions known to put them at further increased risk of severe illness and complications. Therefore, given clear evidence of the dangers of COVID-19 in pregnancy and an absence of data demonstrating adverse effects associated with the vaccine in pregnancy, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) recommend that pregnant women be free to make their own informed decisions regarding COVID-19 vaccination.
Should breastfeeding women get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, ACOG recommends that breastfeeding women get a COVID-19 vaccine. There is no need to stop breastfeeding if you want to get a vaccine. When you get vaccinated, the antibodies made by your body can be passed through breastmilk and help protect your child from the virus.
Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I am trying to get pregnant?
Yes, if you are planning or trying to get pregnant, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine. There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility. You also do not need to delay getting pregnant after you get a vaccine. Some COVID-19 vaccines will require two doses. If you find out you are pregnant after you have the first dose, you should still get the second dose.
If I am on oral contraceptives, is it safe for me to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. Birth control is not a contraindication to receiving the vaccine.
I have heard rumors about how the vaccines can affect my body. What is the truth?
The vaccines that have been approved so far work in different ways, and all of them are proven to be safe. It is important to know that:
- The vaccines cannot give you COVID-19. None of the vaccines use the live virus that causes COVID-19.
- The vaccines do not affect your genes or DNA.
- There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility..