Preparing for the birth of your baby can be equal parts joy and stress. No doubt, your to-do list likely grows by the minute (just like your belly). One item on that list is likely the Covid-19 vaccine. You’ve likely asked yourself “should I get the Covid-19 vaccine?”
The Centers for Disease Control recently strengthened their recommendation for pregnant people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine following the release of new safety data. Covid-19 vaccination is recommended for all people ages 12 and older. This includes pregnant women, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future.
Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to become severely ill with the virus compared to non-pregnant people. Severe illness from COVID-19 during pregnancy can be avoided by getting fully vaccinated.
In recent weeks, infections among pregnant people have been increasing. Vaccination rates are lower in pregnant people. The highly transmissible Delta variant is rapidly spreading through our community, making it more important than ever for pregnant people to protect themselves as they are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 during pregnancy.
According to the CDC, there is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause infertility problems in women or men. Studies of people enrolled in the v-safe pregnancy registry who were vaccinated before 20 weeks of pregnancy did not find an increased risk for miscarriage among those who received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy.
The CDC also believes there are benefits for the baby when pregnant people are vaccinated. If you are pregnant and receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, your body builds antibodies against COVID-19, similar to non-pregnant people. The CDC says that antibodies made after pregnant people receive a mRNA COVID-19 vaccine have been found in umbilical cord blood. They suggest this shows that if you receive a COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, it might help protect your baby against COVID-19.
If you are pregnant, we encourage you to have a conversation with your primary care provider and OBGYN about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. While such a conversation might be helpful, it is not required before vaccination. You can receive a COVID-19 vaccine without any additional documentation from your healthcare provider.
The CDC’s recommendations align with those from professional medical organizations serving people who are pregnant, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and they are all very clear that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.