Pregnancy and the COVID-19 Vaccines

August 31, 2021 Spencer Rogers

You and your baby’s safety are our highest priority. Providence is here to help you make a vaccination decision that’s best for you and your family. The below information reflects information about the available vaccines (Pfizer & Moderna) that use mRNA technology as well as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine using a technology that has been used in previous vaccines. As new vaccines become available, we will provide updates.

Providence, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Society for Maternal Fetal-Medicine (SMFM), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend pregnant people be vaccinated against COVID-19 (today options include Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson). Even if you were sick with COVID-19 in pregnancy, vaccination should be available to you, though prioritization/vaccination timing may vary based on when you were sick.

This is a personal decision and one that you can discuss with your care team.

COVID-19 Vaccine Benefits

  • Determined safe and highly effective (72 - 95%) in preventing COVID-19 infections and is likely to keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • Approved and tested the same way other vaccines and drugs are tested.
  • Does not contain anything that is known to be harmful to pregnant people OR the baby OR during breastfeeding. In fact, the protective antibodies cross the placenta and into breast milk providing protection for your baby.
  • Cannot give you COVID-19.
  • Was tested on pregnant animals and there were no significant bad effects found in relation to fertility or baby’s development.
  • Growing amount of data confirms that COVID-19 vaccines are safe during pregnancy.

COVID-19 Vaccine Risks

  • The vaccine has not been tested in pregnant or lactating people. NOTE: Scientists have compared pregnancies of women who did and did not receive vaccine and found they have had similar pregnancy outcomes.
  • The goal of the vaccine is for your body to experience an immune response. This could include headaches, fatigue, a low-grade fever, and body aches.

COVID-19 Risks While Pregnant

  • While chances of severe health effects are low, pregnant people with COVID-19 and symptoms are more likely to end up in the intensive care unit (ICU) and are more likely to die of COVID-19 than non-pregnant people of reproductive age with COVID-19 and symptoms.
  • Pregnant people who have COVID-19 may have an increased chance of pre-term birth or other adverse pregnancy outcomes. Researchers are working to better understand the effects of COVID-19 before birth.

Those who receive a COVID-19 vaccine must continue to wear a mask in certain places in combination with other measures, such as frequent hand washing and physical distancing.

A vaccine can limit the spread of the disease by helping to protect you and those around you. This vaccine is our best approach at stopping COVID-19. If you decide to get vaccinated, check with your local department of health for the latest guidance and timing for vaccine eligibility in your area.

Where can I get more information?
FDA COVID-19 vaccine information
CDC COVID-19 vaccine information-Pregnant or Breastfeeding
ACOG COVID 19-Message for Patients
The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine-COVID Vaccine
Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine | CDC

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