COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding
What You Need to Know
COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.
Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.
There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.
Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19.
Although the overall risk of severe illness is low, pregnant and recently pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared with non-pregnant people. Severe illness includes illness that requires hospitalization, intensive care, need for a ventilator or special equipment to breathe, or illness that results in death. Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 are at increased risk of preterm birth and might be at increased risk of other adverse pregnancy outcomes, compared with pregnant women without COVID-19.
Safety and Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy
Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, although limited, has been growing. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.
No safety concerns were found in animal studies: Studies in animals receiving a Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson (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 have been given to pregnant 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.
COVID-19 vaccines do not cause infection, including in pregnant people or their babies: None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 so a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make anyone sick with COVID-19, including pregnant people or their babies.
Early data on the safety of receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) during pregnancy are reassuring:
CDC released the first U.S. data on the safety of receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy. The report analyzed data from three safety monitoring systems in place to gather information about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy. These early data did not find any safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated or their babies.1
Another report looked at pregnant people enrolled in the v-safe pregnancy registry who were vaccinated before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Scientists did not find an increased risk for miscarriage among people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy.2
Many pregnancies reported in these safety monitoring systems are ongoing. CDC will continue to follow people vaccinated during all trimesters of pregnancy to better understand effects on pregnancy and babies.
Early data suggest receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy reduces the risk for infection: A recent study from Israel compared pregnant people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine with those who did not. Scientists found that vaccination lowered the risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19.3
Vaccination of pregnant people builds antibodies that might protect their baby: When pregnant people receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, their bodies build antibodies against COVID-19, similar to non-pregnant people. Antibodies made after a pregnant person received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine were 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.4
Additional clinical trials that study the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and how well they work in pregnant people 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. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant. If you are pregnant, you might want to have a conversation with your healthcare provider about COVID-19 vaccination. While such a conversation might be helpful, it is not required before vaccination. You can receive a COVID-19 vaccine without any additional documentation from your healthcare provider.
If you got pregnant after receiving your first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two doses (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine), you should get your second shot to get as much protection as possible. If you experience fever following vaccination, you should take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) because fever—for any reason—has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.
People who are Breastfeeding
COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are breastfeeding. Clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccines currently used in the United States did not include people who are breastfeeding. Because the vaccines have not been studied in people who are breastfeeding, there are limited data available on the:
Safety of COVID-19 vaccines in people who are breastfeeding
Effects of vaccination on the breastfed baby
Effects on milk production or excretion
COVID-19 vaccines cannot cause infection in anyone, including the mother or the baby, and the vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 in people who are breastfeeding. Recent reports have shown that breastfeeding people who have received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies. More data are needed to determine what protection these antibodies may provide to the baby.4-7
Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 after Vaccination: Follow Recommendations
After you are fully vaccinated, you may be able to participate in many of the activities that you did before the pandemic. Learn more about what you can do when you have been fully vaccinated. If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions.
Vaccine Side Effects
Side effects can occur after receiving any of the available COVID-19 vaccines, especially after the second dose for vaccines that require two doses. Pregnant people have not reported different side effects from non-pregnant people after vaccination with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines). If you experience fever following vaccination you should take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) because fever—for any reason—has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Learn more at What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine. Although rare, some people have had allergic reactions after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have a history of allergic reaction to any other vaccine or injectable therapy (intramuscular, intravenous, or subcutaneous).
Key considerations you can discuss with your healthcare provider include:
The unknown risks of developing a severe allergic reaction
The benefits of vaccination
If you have an allergic reaction after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy,