We empathise that COVID-19 has been difficult to navigate in terms of information and guidance - this includes the advice on pregnant women getting the vaccine.
To make it easier, we’ve summarised some key information in a Q&A style.
Can the vaccine infect a pregnant woman or her unborn baby with COVID-19?
No. The vaccines do not contain live coronavirus.
Have any safety concerns been identified with pregnant women taking the vaccine?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said: “In the USA, around 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated mainly with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and no safety concerns have been identified”.
Which vaccines should a pregnant woman take?
The UK Government advises Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the preferred vaccines for pregnant women.
It’s also important to note that it’s advised to have the same vaccine for your second dose as you had for your first - unless you had a series of side effects after your first dose.
Will the COVID-19 vaccination stop me from getting pregnant?
There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have any effect on fertility or your chances of becoming pregnant.
Is it worth getting the vaccine?
Yes. The COVID-19 vaccines offer pregnant women the best protection against the disease.
The overall risk from COVID-19 in pregnant women and their new babies is low. However, in later pregnancy, some women may become seriously unwell and require hospital treatment.
Pregnant women with COVID-19, in general, have a higher risk of intensive care admission than women who aren’t pregnant but are the same age.
Pregnant women with COVID-19 are also 2 to 3 times more likely to have their babies earlier than women without COVID-19.
Can I breastfeed after my vaccine?
Yes, the JCVI has recommended that the vaccine can still be received whilst breastfeeding. This is also in line with recommendations from the USA and the World Health Organisation. Do I need to carry on following national guidance even when I’m vaccinated?
Yes. No vaccine is 100% effective, so it’s therefore important to still:
- practice social distancing
- wear a face mask
- wash your hands carefully and frequently
- open windows to let fresh air in
- follow the current guidance
In order to protect yourself and others.