There is limited knowledge of COVID-19 vaccines on pregnant and breastfeeding women since they were not included in the vaccine trials. However over 10,000 pregnant women have received a COVID-19 vaccine thus far and have had no negative outcomes.
It is important to know that:
- The vaccine does not contain live virus particles.
- The mRNA particles that are used in the vaccine are eliminated by our body in hours or days. Therefore, it is unlikely to reach the placenta.
- Recent studies have shown that coronavirus antibodies can pass to the placenta, giving newborns some immunity to the virus. Research is still being conducted to how long this immunity lasts.
- One of the side effects from the vaccine, more common in the second dose, is fever. The fever can be managed with Tylenol, which is safe for pregnant people. High, prolonged fevers can lead to birth defects but are very rare.
Other side effects (which usually last 24 to 48 hours after your dose) include:
If the vaccine is made available to you, it is your choice if you get vaccinated. Consulting your healthcare provider is not a requirement; however, it can help in getting some questions answered. Questions you can ask your healthcare provider can include:
- What risks are there for pregnant women and their baby to COVID-19?
- What is known about the vaccine and how it can affect pregnant women?
If you are worried about how it might affect your baby you can wait until after you deliver to get the vaccine.
There are some unanswered questions about the vaccine, however it has potential benefits for those who are pregnant and breastfeeding.
For updated information visit, Harvard Health Publishing and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You can also visit Coronavirus (COVID-19), Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding for more information on COVID-19 and pregnancy, labor and delivery, and vaccines.