If you’re pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re likely concerned about the safety of the vaccines available. What experts and healthcare providers know to be true thus far is that getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you and your developing baby.
Being pregnant puts you at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as compared to people who aren’t pregnant. Severe illness means you may need to be hospitalized, receive intensive care or even breathing support on a ventilator or other equipment. There is also evidence that pregnant people with COVID-19 are at increased risk of preterm birth and may also be at greater risk for other adverse outcomes during pregnancy while in pandemic.
Getting vaccinated during pregnancy is generally believed safe and protective for you and your baby. Experts acknowledge that there’s limited but increasing evidence about the safety of COVID vaccination during pregnancy, and based on how these vaccines work in the body, healthcare and public health experts believe they’re unlikely to put you and your baby at risk.
Currently, there are clinical trials of the safety of COVID-19 vaccines ongoing in people who were pregnant when they got vaccinated, and people who became pregnant after they got vaccinated. To date, none of the safety monitoring systems used to gather information about the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine have shown predictable adverse outcomes of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy. The early data are what’s called “preliminary but reassuring” as they didn’t identify any concerns for pregnant people or for their babies.
Because most of the pregnancies reported in these systems are still ongoing, more follow-up data are needed for people vaccinated just before or early in pregnancy.
Side effects can occur after receiving any of the available COVID-19 vaccines, especially after the second dose for vaccines that require two doses. The side effects reported by pregnant people haven’t varied from those reported by other people. Although rare, some people have had allergic reactions after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have a history of allergic reaction to any other vaccine or to a medication.
If you are pregnant and receive a COVID-19 vaccine, consider participating in the CDC’s v-safe pregnancy registry. If you’re pregnancy and have received a COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage you to enrol in v-safe. Download the app in any of the app stores; V-safe is CDC’s smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after vaccination. Participation is voluntary, and participants may opt out at any time.