Deciding whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine is a very individualized decision, but should be an option among women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and trying to get pregnant, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says.
“While data is still being collected about these vaccines, we believe that in the vast majority of cases, the benefits outweigh the risks, and the vaccine is much safer than contracting COVID-19,” ACOG says.
As you make your choice about vaccination, consider how much the virus is circulating within your area or community, the vaccine’s potential efficacy, the risks of COVID-19 on your fetus or newborn, and the safety of the vaccine among pregnant women and their fetus.
At this point, further data and research are needed to know more about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines among pregnant women, but experts believe the vaccine isn’t likely to be unsafe among people who are pregnant. As clinical trials progress and additional data on COVID-19 vaccinations and pregnancy becomes available, this information will help inform future recommendations.
This type of information is already beginning to become available and making it easier for women to make informed decisions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Results from a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health, for example, show that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are safe and effective among pregnant and lactating women. Beyond safety, the study shows that the vaccines also elicit strong immune responses among pregnant women that can also be transferred to their babies.
We don’t know with certainty whether breastmilk will contain COVID-19 antibodies that can be transferred from a mother to her infant. Results from a recent small study showed significant levels of antibodies in the breastmilk of people who have received the COVID-19 vaccination, but future research is needed in this area.
COVID-19 vaccines and fertility
Some false information has been circulating regarding COVID-19 vaccines and infertility, but it’s important to understand that there is no evidence showing that the COVID-19 vaccine impacts fertility.
“There is no evidence that the vaccine can lead to loss of fertility. While fertility was not specifically studied in the clinical trials of the vaccine, no loss of fertility has been reported among trial participants or among the millions who have received the vaccines since their authorization, and no signs of infertility appeared in animal studies. Loss of fertility is scientifically unlikely,” ACOG says.
When to get vaccinated
Current recommendations suggest that people get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them. There is no need to receive the vaccination during a specific stage of pregnancy.
If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Arizona OB/GYN Affiliates (AOA) at 602-343-6174 or visit www.aoafamily.com. We have offices in Phoenix, Ahwatukee, Casa Grande, Goodyear, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Chandler.