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PREVENT

What pregnant moms should know about the COVID-19 vaccine

  • The COVID-19 vaccine will not affect fertility.
  • Experts believe the COVID-19 vaccine will not harm a breastfeeding child or mom.

Moms will do anything to keep their kids and babies safe, and that’s especially true during a pandemic. When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, you might have questions—especially if you are pregnant or may become pregnant soon. Here’s what you should know.

COVID-19 vaccine considerations for pregnant women

Pregnant or nursing mothers were not included in the COVID-19 vaccine studies. Because of this, you may read some conflicting information about the safety of the vaccine in pregnant women. However, many health organizations in the United States such as the CDC are encouraging pregnant women to get the vaccine because of the high risk of illness or death associated with COVID-19 infection.

Some kinds of vaccines should be avoided during pregnancy, and these are usually the ones that contain a live virus that has been altered so that it doesn’t cause substantial infection. The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain a live virus, nor does it have an inactive form of the live virus inside.

Get the COVID-19 vaccine if you are planning to become pregnant

Because of the increased risk of mortality and complications from a COVID-19 infection during pregnancy, you should talk to your physician about obtaining vaccine. But it’s important to note that getting a vaccine may be challenging for these first few months because vaccination is currently reserved for those in high-risk populations or those with a higher risk for exposure.

Vaccine will help protect baby during pregnancy and after birth

When moms-to-be get vaccines, such as influenza or TDAP, it can help protect babies from getting sick – similar to how the flu shot can protect your baby. This happens through something called passive immunity. Passive immunity is when mom’s antibodies are passed to baby before birth, which then helps protect the little one after birth. While more research is needed, many experts believe this could be the case with the COVID-19 vaccine, too.

Vaccine considerations while breastfeeding

Because of past research on vaccines, experts believe the COVID-19 vaccine will not harm a breastfeeding child or mom. This is especially true when you compare vaccination to the risks of getting COVID-19. Plus, it’s possible that a breastfeeding mom who received the vaccine may be able to help pass along immunity to their child who has not received the vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccine does not affect fertility

You may have heard about a supposed link between the vaccine and infertility. This is a fear-mongering myth with zero scientific basis that is spreading around the internet and social media like wildfire. We know that vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, will not affect fertility. However, some infections caused by getting sick with COVID-19 can affect fertility.

If you still have questions or concerns, talk with your care team about whether the COVID-19 vaccine is right for you.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Read frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines

    Learn more

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