COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

 COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

People who are Pregnant

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant. People who are pregnant may also receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19, and a healthy mom is important for a healthy baby. If you are pregnant, you might want to have a conversation with your healthcare provider about COVID-19 vaccination. While such a conversation might be helpful, it is not required before vaccination. You can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, including a booster shot, without any additional documentation from your healthcare provider.

CDC recommendations align with those from professional medical organizations serving people who are pregnant, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologistsexternal icon and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine,pdf iconexternal icon along with many other professional medical organizations.

If you got pregnant after receiving your first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two doses (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine), you should get your second shot to get as much protection as possible. If you experience fever following vaccination, you should take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) because fever—for any reason—has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.

If you are pregnant and have questions about COVID-19 vaccine

If you would like to speak to someone about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, you can contact MotherToBaby whose experts are available to answer questions in English or Spanish by phone or chat. The free and confidential service is available Monday–Friday, 8am–5pm (local time). To reach MotherToBaby:

People who are Breastfeeding

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are breastfeeding. Clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccines currently used in the United States did not include people who are breastfeeding. Therefore, there are limited data available on the:

  • Safety of COVID-19 vaccines in people who are breastfeeding
  • Effects of vaccination on the breastfed baby
  • Effects on milk production or excretion

COVID-19 vaccines cannot cause COVID-19 infection in anyone, including the mother or the baby, and vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 in people who are breastfeeding. Recent reports have shown that breastfeeding people who have received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies. More data are needed to determine what level of protection these antibodies may provide to the baby.6-9

Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 after Vaccination: Follow Recommendations

After you are fully vaccinated, you may be able to participate in many of the activities that you did before the pandemic. Learn more about what you can do when you have been fully vaccinated.

If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions. CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional primary dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether getting an additional primary dose is appropriate for you.

Vaccine Side Effects

Side effects can occur after receiving any of the available COVID-19 vaccines, especially after the second dose for vaccines that require two doses. People who are pregnant have not reported different side effects from people who are not pregnant after vaccination with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines). If you experience fever following vaccination you should take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) because fever—for any reason—has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Learn more at Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine.

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 injectable therapy (intramuscular, intravenous, or subcutaneous).

Key considerations you can discuss with your healthcare provider include:

  • The benefits of vaccination
  • The unknown risks of developing a severe allergic reaction
  • If you have an allergic reaction after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, you can receive treatment for it.

People Who Would Like to Have a Baby

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future , as well as their partners.

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine: Women younger than 50 years old should especially be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination. There are other COVID-19 vaccines available for which this risk has not been seen. If you received a J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, here is what you need to know. Read the CDC/FDA statement.

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