COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding
What You Need to Know
If you are pregnant or were recently pregnant, you are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 compared to people who are not pregnant. Additionally, if you have COVID-19 during pregnancy, you are at increased risk of complications that can affect your pregnancy and developing baby.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you from getting very sick from COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.
People who are pregnant should stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, including getting a COVID-19 booster shot when it’s time to get one.
Evidence continues to build showing that COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is safe and effective.
There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.
Increased Risk for Severe Illness from COVID-19
Although the overall risks are low, if you are pregnant or were recently pregnant, you are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 compared to people who are not pregnant. People who get very sick from COVID-19 may require hospitalization, admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), or use of a ventilator or special equipment to breathe. Severe COVID-19 illness can also lead to death. Additionally, if you have COVID-19 during pregnancy, you are at increased risk of complications that can affect your pregnancy and developing baby. For example, COVID-19 during pregnancy increases the risk of delivering a preterm or stillborn infant.
Safety and Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy
Evidence continues to build showing that COVID-19 vaccination before and during pregnancy is safe and effective. It suggests that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy. Below is a brief summary of the growing evidence:
COVID-19 vaccines do not cause COVID-19 infection, including in people who are pregnant or their babies. None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain live virus. They cannot make anyone sick with COVID-19, including people who are pregnant or their babies.
Data on the safety of receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty), during pregnancy are reassuring.
Early data from three safety monitoring systems did not find any safety concerns for people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine late in pregnancy or for their babies.1
Scientists have not found an increased risk for miscarriage among people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine just before and during early pregnancy (before 20 weeks of pregnancy).2-4
In a study of more than 40,000 pregnant women, COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy was not associated with preterm birth or delivering an infant small for their gestational age.5
The monitoring of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is ongoing. CDC will continue to follow people vaccinated during all trimesters of pregnancy to better understand effects on pregnancy and babies.
Data show that receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy reduces the risk for infection and severe illness for people who are pregnant. Recent studies compared people who were pregnant and received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine with people who did not. Scientists found that COVID-19 vaccination lowered the risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19 and was even more effective at reducing the risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.6-10
Vaccination during pregnancy builds antibodies that might protect the baby. When people receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, their bodies build antibodies against COVID-19, similar to people who are not pregnant. Antibodies made after a pregnant person received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine have been found in umbilical cord blood. This means COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy might help protect babies against COVID-19. More data are needed to determine how these antibodies, similar to those produced with other vaccines, may provide protection to the baby.11-13
A recent small study found that at 6 months old, the majority (57%) of infants born to pregnant people who were vaccinated during pregnancy had detectable antibodies against COVID-19, compared to 8% of infants born to pregnant people who had COVID-19 during pregnancy.14
New data show that completing a two-dose primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series during pregnancy can help protect babies younger than 6 months old from hospitalization due to COVID-19. In this report, the majority (84%) of babies hospitalized with COVID-19 were born to pregnant people who were not vaccinated during pregnancy.15
No safety concerns were found in animal studies. Studies in animals receiving a Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen(J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine before or during pregnancy found no safety concerns in pregnant animals or their babies.
No adverse pregnancy-related outcomes occurred in previous clinical trials that used the same vaccine platform as the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines that use the same viral vector as the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine have been given to people in all trimesters of pregnancy, including in a large-scale Ebola vaccination trial. No adverse pregnancy-related outcomes, including adverse outcomes affecting the baby, were associated with vaccination in these trials. Learn more about how viral vector vaccines work.
More clinical trials on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and how well they work in people who are pregnant are underway or planned. Vaccine manufacturers are also collecting and reviewing data from people in the completed clinical trials who received a vaccine and became pregnant during the trial.