During pregnancy, many women are extra careful in the daily choices they make, whether that be food, exercise, sleep or medication, concerned about the effects these things can have on the baby. With the current pandemic, one of the most sought after questions is whether a pregnant woman should vaccinate against COVID-19. First and foremost, it is important to state that with the lack of data available, the risks of the vaccine with pregnancy are ultimately unknown at this time. However, know that we have been recommending a flu shot for every pregnant person for years, and have plenty of safety data about it.
With that being said, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2020), “recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination based on ACIP-recommended priority groups”. The same criteria is true for someone who is breastfeeding. While the vaccine was not specifically studied in pregnant women, there is also no data contraindicating the safety of the vaccine during pregnancy. Pregnancy puts a woman at increased risk of illnesses because her immune system is naturally suppressed, and with the COVID-19 virus, she is at a higher risk of more severe complications if she does get infected. At this time, with little data available, it is thought that the safety and efficacy of the vaccine is similar whether someone is pregnant or not. We do recommend every pregnant woman have a conversation with her healthcare provider to see which is the right decision for her based on her individual circumstances and risks. Regardless of your decision, it is important to continue to maintain proper precautions against COVID-19, mask wearing, physical distancing, and avoiding gatherings, for the safety of you and your baby.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2020, December 21). Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients Against COVID-19. https://www.acog.org/en/clinical/ clinical-guidance/practice-advisory/articles/2020/12/vaccinating-pregnant-and-lactating- patients-against-covid-19