I’m pregnant, should I get the vaccine?
Vaccination is a promising strategy for combating COVID-19. However, the trials testing the vaccines did not include pregnant people. For decades, vaccines have been safely given to pregnant and lactating people, even when those vaccines were not initially tested in pregnant people.
Professional societies of doctors who care for pregnant people recommend that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination. This means that we recommend that you discuss vaccination with a healthcare professional you trust and come up with a plan together.
Why should pregnant people get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Pregnant people infected with COVID-19 can get severe disease. Compared with women who aren’t pregnant, COVID-19-infected pregnant people have an increased risk of getting seriously sick. A study in the U.S. found that pregnant people:
- Are 3 times more likely to need ICU care
- Are 2 to 3 times more likely need advanced life support and a breathing tube
- Have a slightly increased risk of dying due to COVID-19
What are the risks of the vaccine for pregnant people?
The COVID-19 vaccine has not been tested on pregnant people. Pregnant women were not included in the clinical trials. However, some people in the clinical trials got pregnant after receiving the vaccine; they had no reported problems with their pregnancies. Additionally, the theoretical risk of an mRNA vaccine to the fetus is thought to be very low due to the way it works in the body.
Given the risks of getting and having serious complications from COVID, and the low theoretical risk posed by the vaccine, many pregnant people might choose to get vaccinated. But you should talk with your healthcare provider to make the best choice for you.
Last updated: December 22, 2020, 4:46 pm ET
Science review: GSN, ERS