- I’m not getting the vaccine because I’m getting married soon and have read on the internet that it can cause problems with conceiving or affect the health of my baby.
- I am a physician and was with an unvaccinated pregnant woman who contracted Covid-19 and she and her baby died from the virus.
The guiding principle: Always ask yourself, “Are the risks of accepting this intervention greater than the risks without it?”To make decisions, it is helpful to have reputable sources of information. Here is what we know to date from two sources: The New England Journal of Medicine’s publication “Preliminary Finding of mRNA Covid-19 vaccine Safety in Pregnant Persons” published April 21, 2021 and also the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) “Covid-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding,” updated August 11, 2021. New England Journal of Medicine - April 21,2021 This preliminary study involving a total of 35,691 pregnant persons compared pregnancy outcomes during the Covid-19 pandemic, to outcomes before the Covid-19 pandemic. Pregnant participants ages 16-54 who had been vaccinated with mRNA technology using the Moderna or Phizer vaccines were included in the study. Therefore these findings concern only participants who were vaccinated with either of these these two vaccines and who were already pregnant. They concluded, “Although not directly comparable, calculated proportions of adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes in persons vaccinated against Covid-19 who had a completed pregnancy were similar to incidences reported in studies involving pregnant women that were conducted before the Covid-19 pandemic.” (1) This means that no significant difference in effects or outcomes were found between the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. Below are the data comparing the two in terms of pregnancy loss and neonatal outcomes. The Data Specifically for Pregnancy Loss:
- Spontaneous abortion less than 20 weeks gestation (miscarriage): Pre-Covid : 10% to 20% ~ After receiving the Covid vaccine: 12.6% (in 104 of 827 of completed pregnancies)
- Stillbirth greater than 20 weeks gestation: Pre-Covid: Less than 1% ~ After receiving the Covid vaccine: 0.1% (1 out of 725)
- For neonatal outcomes among live-birth infants: Pre-Covid: 8%-15% ~ After receiving the Covid vaccine: 9.4% (60 out of 636 (for preterm births less than 37 weeks and persons vaccinated before 37 weeks)
- Small size for gestational age: 23 out of 724 (3.2% vs 3.5% pre Covid-19, major Pre-Covid: 3.5%) ~ After receiving the Covid vaccine: 3.2% (23 out of 724)
- Major congenital anomalies: Pre-Covid: 3% ~ After receiving the Covid vaccine 2.2% (16 out of 724)
- Neonatal death (in the first 28 days after delivery): Pre-Covid: greater than 1% ~ After receiving the Covid vaccine: 0% (0 out of 724)
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.(2)
- 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.
- Shimabukuro, Tom T et al, “Preliminary Findings of mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Safety in Pregnant persons” N Engl J Med, June 2021, 384(24); 2273-2282. Doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2104983. Epub 2021 Apr 21.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html
- Zambrano LD, Ellington S, Strid P, et al. Update: characteristics of symptomatic women of reproductive age with laboratory confirmed SARS-COV-2 infection by pregnancy status ---United States, January 22-october 3, 2020, MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020; 69: 6-41-1647.
- Shimabukuro, Tom et al, “Preliminary Findings of mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Safety in Pregnant Persons” N Engl J Med, June 2021, 384(24), 2273-2282.rem