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COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant, Breastfeeding, or Trying to Conceive

woman holding a baby

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends all eligible people, including pregnant and breastfeeding individuals, receive a COVID-19 vaccine. “In the vast majority of cases, the benefits outweigh the risks, and the vaccine is much safer than contracting COVID-19,” ACOG says. 

The results of an April 2021 NEJM study on the safety of receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) during pregnancy were reassuring.

Transferring Antibodies

Pregnant women who get an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19 pass high levels of protective antibodies on to their babies via breastmilk, new research shows.

COVID-19 Vaccines and Fertility

There is no evidence that the vaccine can lead to loss of fertility and loss of fertility is scientifically unlikely.

Vaccination Timing

Current recommendations suggest that people get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them. There is no need to receive the vaccination during a specific stage of pregnancy.

COVID-19 and Pregnancy

COVID-19 cases in pregnant women are increasing nationally, with more than 1,100 new cases per week reported to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in August 2021. Shockingly, the data shows only 31% of pregnant women are vaccinated against COVID-19. Furthermore, an advisory from the CDC Health Alert Network states that 97% of pregnant people hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated. The CDC says cases of COVID-19 in symptomatic pregnant people have a higher risk of admission into intensive care and a 70% increased risk of death compared to non-pregnant people.

Risks for babies include preterm birth (delivering the baby earlier than 37 weeks) and admission to neonatal intensive care units.

COVID Booster

ACOG recommends that pregnant women, including pregnant health care workers, receive a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months following the completion of their initial Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine series.

If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Women’s Health Arizona. As Arizona’s largest ObGyn group, we’re trained and solely dedicated to delivering the best ObGyn experience in convenient and comfortable settings around Phoenix.

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