COVID-19 Q&A: Vaccines are safe and recommended for pregnant women

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends COVID-19 vaccination for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or who want to become pregnant in the future. Women who have questions about this should discuss their concerns with their healthcare providers. In the meantime, here are some common questions and answers.

Why is it so important for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or who want to become pregnant in the future, to get vaccinated?

Pregnant and recently pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with women who are not pregnant. (Severe illness requires hospitalization, intensive care, a ventilator, or special equipment to breathe, or results in death.) Pregnant women with COVID-19 are also at increased risk of preterm birth and might be at increased risk of other adverse pregnancy outcomes, compared with pregnant women without COVID-19.

Is there a possibility the COVID-19 vaccine would keep a woman from getting pregnant?

There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with conception or pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. During vaccine trials, the rate of pregnancy among women who received the COVID-19 vaccine was the same as the rate among women who got a placebo vaccine. There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.

Does COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy offer any protection to the baby?

Vaccination of pregnant women builds antibodies that might protect their babies.When pregnant women receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, their bodies build antibodies against COVID-19. Antibodies made after a pregnant woman received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine were found in umbilical cord blood. This means COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy might help protect babies against COVID-19. In addition, if the mother gets COVID-19 during or after pregnancy, this will put her baby at risk of infection and illness, so avoiding that illness in the mother will protect the baby. More data are needed to determine how these antibodies, like those produced with other vaccines, may provide protection to the baby.

If you are pregnant and have questions about COVID-19 vaccine

If you would like to speak to someone about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, you can contact MotherToBaby. Experts are available to answer questions in English or Spanish by phone or chat. The free and confidential service is available 8 a.m.–5 p.m. (local time) Monday–Friday. To reach MotherToBaby:

  • Call 1-866-626-6847
  • Chat live or send an email to MotherToBaby.

Stay up to date with the latest and most accurate information on COVID-19 at these websites:

Follow DHW on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for daily updates and information you can trust.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov. 

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