COVID-19 Vaccine in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

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Thousands of COVID-19 vaccines have already been given to people throughout the state, such as healthcare workers and teachers. Women who work in these kinds of jobs are in situations where they are or can be, exposed to the virus. Pregnant women are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Having COVID-19 may also put you at an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth. 

Some of those who can get vaccinated right now may be planning a pregnancy, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding. They may be worried about whether it’s safe to get the COVID- Right now, we don’t have any data to say whether or not COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for pregnant women. Pregnant women were not included in the first COVID-19 clinical trials. However, studies that include pregnant women are planned. Vaccine manufacturers also continue to study the outcomes of people from the clinical trials who became pregnant. From what we know, experts don’t think mRNA vaccines will pose a risk for people who are pregnant. The mRNA in the vaccine doesn’t ever enter the nucleus of your cells and your body uses your normal cellular processes to quickly break down the mRNA in the vaccine. 

If you’re pregnant, thinking about getting pregnant, or breastfeeding, you may be trying to decide if you’ll get vaccinated or not. It’s important to talk to your doctor about your particular situation, and whether or not you should get vaccinated.

We recommend talking to your doctor because each person’s situation is different. Your job or a health condition may put you at increased risk of being exposed or suffering from severe illness from COVID-19. Your doctor will be able to help you look at the risks to you and your baby, if you were to get COVID-19, and make an informed decision. It’s important to remember that even though there is limited data and information about COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy, these are not live vaccines. Live vaccines are not usually given during pregnancy. It’s also important to remember that we DO give vaccines during pregnancy, such as a flu shot and the Tdap for pertussis, or whooping cough. Pregnant women get a Tdap vaccination in the 3rd trimester of every pregnancy.  Pregnant and breastfeeding women should get the flu vaccine every season. We don’t see any increased risks during pregnancy from those and other vaccines.

If you or your provider have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, you can visit the CDC Website or contact them.

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