Pregnancy, Lactation and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Deciding What’s Right for You

BIDMC Obstetrician meets with pregnant patientOn Monday, April 5, 2021, Massachusetts opened vaccine eligibility to people with one qualifying health condition, which includes pregnancy. The information below will help you make an informed choice about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. This decision is ultimately yours, best made together with your healthcare provider.

For information about scheduling your COVID-19 vaccine, please visit our Coronavirus Resource Center.

Your Options

  1. Get the vaccine as soon as it's available to you
  2. Wait for more information about the vaccines in pregnancy

What We Know

  • Patients who are pregnant are at higher risk of becoming very ill from COVID-19. Studies have shown people who are pregnant are five times more likely to end up in intensive care or on a ventilator than those who are not pregnant.
  • The vaccines currently available received the FDA's emergency use authorization guided by strong scientific data.
  • While vaccine studies are still ongoing for patients who are pregnant and breastfeeding, there is no reason to suspect it is harmful.
  • The vaccines do not have a live virus and you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
  • The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals.
  • The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine reports there is no reason to believe vaccine affects the safety of breast milk. In fact, antibodies may pass to baby, possibly helping to prevent infections.

Your Decision

Your personal risk factors for getting very sick from COVID-19 may influence your decision to get the vaccine. These risk factors may include having contact with people outside your home or having other medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. We encourage you to speak to your obstetrician or primary healthcare provider to discuss any concerns.

Helpful Resources

Watch two videos featuring BIDMC experts who discuss the vaccine in more detail.

  • Ask the Experts: COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy
    Hear from Rebecca Zash, MD, Infectious Disease, Ai-ris Collier, MD, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and Toni Golen, MD, Interim Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who answer questions from patients specific to the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine as it relates to infertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know
    In this Beth Israel Lahey Health video series, Ai-ris Collier, MD, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, shares what information is available about COVID vaccine safety to help pregnant or lactating patients make an informed decision.

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