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Pregnant in a Pandemic: Understanding Your COVID-19 Vaccine Options

Pregnant in a Pandemic: Understanding Your COVID-19 Vaccine Options

Aug 27, 2021

Pregnant people are more at risk of severe COVID-19 illness compared to non-pregnant individuals, but many still have questions about whether it’s safe to get vaccinated while pregnant. The experts are clear—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages pregnant people to get a COVID-19 vaccine; however, being vaccinated against COVID-19 during your pregnancy is a choice for you to make in consultation with your health care provider. 

On August,11, the CDC released new research that shows the vaccines do not increase the risk of miscarriage while the risk of severe disease from COVID-19 while pregnant is serious. 

“CDC encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19,” said Rochelle Walensky, M.D., director of the CDC. “The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations.”

According to the New York Times, “This announcement marks the first time the agency gave strong, unambiguous support to vaccination during pregnancy, bringing it in line with the advice of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other medical specialty groups.”

“We continue to learn about the benefits and potential risks vaccines pose to pregnant individuals, but we know COVID-19 vaccines prevent infection, serious illness and, potentially, the transmission of the virus,” said Neely Elisha, D.O., Obstetrics and Gynecology specialist. 

During the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, researchers studied the effects of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on pregnant subjects. The study concluded there were no concerns regarding the safety or efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines being administered to pregnant people.

Here’s What to Consider 

Choosing to get vaccinated during your pregnancy is a decision you need to make for yourself—and your baby. Common concerns about getting vaccinated while pregnant include fear of side effects or the safety of the fetus. 

“Pregnant people who received the vaccine have not reported side effects different from those reported by non-pregnant people. Additionally, recent reports show vaccinated pregnant individuals have passed COVID-19 antibodies to their babies,” said Dr. Elisha. “It’s also important to remember the COVID-19 vaccines approved in the United States do not contain any COVID-19 virus particles. And they do not interact with our DNA in any capacity.” 

To make an informed decision about whether or not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, consider: 

  • Your current exposure to COVID-19
  • Your own health risks if you contracted the virus 
  • The risks posed to your fetus if you contracted the virus
  • What is currently known about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines

“With approximately 165 million Americans fully vaccinated, there is convincing data supporting the recommendation that pregnant people get vaccinated,” said Dr. Elisha. 

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy, visit

Topics: Maternity, COVID-19, Women's Health