Deciding What’s Right for You
The COVID-19 vaccine is recommended during pregnancy, for individuals who are lactating, and for those who are thinking about becoming pregnant soon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine all strongly agree on this recommendation.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Protects YOU
- Individuals who are pregnant are at higher risk of becoming very ill from COVID-19. Studies have shown people who are pregnant are more likely to be hospitalized, require intensive care, need a ventilator or breathing tube, and are at an increased risk of death from COVID-19 compared to those who are not pregnant.
- There is no scientific evidence to support a link between COVID-19 vaccines and infertility or miscarriage.
- The vaccine is both safe and effective in pregnancy, and is the best way to protect against the potential harm of COVID-19.
- Hundreds of thousands of pregnant people who have been vaccinated self-reported to the CDC’s v-safe program. Some people did report acute side effects of the vaccine, none of which were harmful to their pregnancy. Mild side effects such as injection site reactions, fatigue, chills, headache or fever are normal and expected as your body develops immune response to protect itself against COVID-19.
- It is OK to take acetaminophen during pregnancy if you develop side effects. These side effects are extremely unlikely to affect your pregnancy in any way.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Protects YOUR BABY
- Delivery is sometimes needed to improve breathing of the pregnant patient and for this reason, preterm birth is more frequent in pregnancies complicated by COVID-19. Premature babies face the risk of life-threatening complications.
- Contracting COVID-19 while pregnant may increase the risk of cesarean delivery, preeclampsia, and stillbirth. The vaccine, on the other hand, shows no harmful effects to pregnancy, fetal growth or development, or delivery.
- If you are vaccinated, you may pass antibodies to your baby to provide neonatal protection against COVID-19. In fact, vaccine-induced antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 have been found in both umbilical cord blood and breast milk after COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.
We encourage you to speak to your obstetrician or primary healthcare provider to discuss any concerns.
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.
View and print information about pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine.