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Are COVID Vaccines Safe for Pregnant Women?

    Are COVID Vaccines Safe for Pregnant Women?

    Vaccines are effective against severe COVID-19 that leads to hospitalization and death. While adults and kids 5 to 17 years can already reap the benefits of vaccination, babies do not have the same advantage. This is why experts continue to remind pregnant women to get vaccinated. However, some mothers can’t help but worry: Is COVID vaccine safe for pregnant women? Wouldn’t the vaccine pose risks to the child?

    Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy below.

    Why Experts Are Pushing For COVID-19 Vaccination In Pregnant Women

    Is COVID vaccine safe for pregnant women? Experts say, yes, it is. A huge study involving more than 46,000 pregnant women observed that COVID-19 vaccination is safe and did not increase the risk of preterm birth and small for gestational age.¹

    Health officials also emphasize that vaccines are not just safe. It is crucial that a pregnant woman receive her shot as soon as she can. This is because unvaccinated pregnant women with COVID symptoms have a 70% risk of death compared to symptomatic non-pregnant women.

    What Other Health Institutions Say About COVID-19 Vaccines During Pregnancy

    If you’re still asking: is COVID vaccine safe for pregnant women?, let’s see where renowned health institutions stand:

    The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends COVID-19 vaccination for people who are pregnant as it helps protect against severe infections².

    Johns Hopkins Medicine also agrees with the recommendations made by the US CDC. They also said that the benefits of getting the vaccine “far outweighs” the risks³.

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination among pregnant women. They say a growing number of data do not show any safety concern.⁴

    Official Recommendations From The Department of Health⁵,⁶

    Is COVID vaccine safe for pregnant women? According to Department of Health and Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, pregnancy is not a contraindication to getting the vaccine. They also mentioned that pregnant women can get the vaccine with precautions due to limited data. They also mentioned that it’s better for pregnant mothers to get their shot after the first trimester.

    The DOH also mentioned that it’s better for pregnant mothers to get their shot after the first trimester.

    Finally, they said pregnant and breastfeeding mothers SHOULD NOT get the Gamaleya vaccine.

    Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Vaccination During Pregnancy

    Now that you know the authorities’ answer to the question, is COVID vaccine safe for pregnant women?, let’s answer some frequently asked questions regarding COVID vaccination and pregnancy:

    1. What vaccine should you get?

    You can get any vaccine except Gamaleya (Sputnik).

    In the United States, experts recommend Pfizer or Moderna over single shot Janssen. Experts from the United Kingdom, where many received AstraZeneca, also recommend Pfizer and Moderna due to the extensive data available. They did say, however, that “there are no reported concerns with the AstraZeneca vaccine in pregnancy.⁷

    2. Do you need a booster shot?

    Yes. Experts recommend a booster dose to protect against declining immunity.

    3. What side effects should you expect?

    Side effects vary from person to person. Know that you may experience flu-like symptoms for a few days and that it is safe for you to take acetaminophen for pain and fever.

    It’s best to be in contact with your doctor before and after your vaccination.

    4. Will the vaccine affect breastfeeding and fertility?

    There is no evidence that the vaccine affects fertility. Likewise, experts recommend that breastfeeding mothers should get their COVID-19 shot.

    Key Takeaways

    Is COVID vaccine safe for pregnant women? Experts say, it is. It is crucial for pregnant mothers to get their shot because they are at a higher risk of death and hospitalization compared to non-pregnant women.
    The Department of Health recommends getting the vaccine with caution after the first trimester. Pregnant women should also not take the Gamaleya Sputnik vaccine.

    Learn more about Coronavirus here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


    1 Covid-19: Vaccination during pregnancy is safe, finds large US study, https://www.bmj.com/content/376/bmj.o27, Accessed Feb 3, 2022

    2 COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html, Accessed Feb 3, 2022

    3 The COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/the-covid19-vaccine-and-pregnancy-what-you-need-to-know, Accessed Feb 3, 2022

    4 Coronavirus (COVID-19), Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding: A Message for Patients, https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/coronavirus-covid-19-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding, Accessed Feb 3, 2022

    5 FAQS FOR PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING WOMEN – ENGLISH, https://doh.gov.ph/node/29221, Accessed Feb 3, 2022

    6 CAN PREGNANT WOMEN GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE?, https://doh.gov.ph/node/28465#:~:text=Pregnancy%20is%20not%20a%20contraindication,pregnant%20women%20from%20clinical%20studies., Accessed Feb 3, 2022

    7 COVID-19 vaccines, pregnancy and breastfeeding, https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/coronavirus-covid-19-pregnancy-and-womens-health/covid-19-vaccines-and-pregnancy/covid-19-vaccines-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding, Accessed Feb 3, 2022

    COVID-19 Vaccination of Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women, https://pogsinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/POGSPracticeBulletin1.pdf, Accessed July 14, 2022

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    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Jul 14
    Medically reviewed by Janie-Vi Villamor Ismael-Gorospe, MD
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