The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty and worries among vulnerable populations, including pregnant people. While pregnant people were not included in the initial COVID-19 vaccine studies, research has found the benefits of getting vaccinated against the virus far outweigh any potential risk with the vaccines. Pregnant and breastfeeding people are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Risks of COVID-19 in Pregnancy
- Pregnant people are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 compared to people who are not pregnant.
- People who have COVID-19 during pregnancy are at increased risk of experiencing severe illness.
- Pregnant people are at greater risk of dying and experiencing complications compared to non-pregnant people who get infected with the virus.
- Getting infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy can affect the developing baby and increases the risk of a pre-term or stillborn birth.
- People who become critically ill with COVID-19 during their second or third trimesters of pregnancy are four times more likely to have a pre-term delivery compared to people who had mild illness during pregnancy.
COVID-19 Vaccination During Pregnancy and in Postpartum
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and trying to get pregnant get vaccinated against COVID-19. Data continue to show COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for these groups of people.
Current COVID-19 Vaccine Data:
- To date, there have been NO safety concerns for people who received a vaccine during pregnancy or for their babies.
- mRNA COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live virus.
- According to the CDC, there is no increased risk of miscarriage after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Studies have shown that pregnant people are NOT more likely to experience pregnancy complications, such as pre-term birth and stillbirth, after vaccination.
- COVID-19 antibodies are passed to the baby through the placenta or breastmilk and can protect the baby from COVID-19 after birth.
- COVID-19 vaccines DO NOT cause infertility.
Vaccination during pregnancy is not a new concept. Patients are vaccinated against other viruses such as influenza and pertussis (TDaP). Data have shown that vaccines help protect people from becoming very sick. It also helps protect the mother and provides antibodies to the baby.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and are considering getting vaccinated against COVID-19, consult with your health care provider. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone who is eligible—people ages six months and older. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting people from the virus and is the best method to keep you from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying.