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Pregnancy and COVID-19 — Understanding the Vaccine’s Impact

pregnant woman getting vaccinated
pregnant woman getting vaccinated

Looking forward to starting a family or having another child? The COVID-19 pandemic adds some concerns around getting pregnant and keeping mom and baby safe. Some prospective parents may worry that vaccination to help protect against COVID-19 will affect their fertility or the course of a pregnancy. However, there’s no evidence that vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines — none of which contain the live virus — cause fertility problems in females or males, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and several professional medical associations.1

In fact, the CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination and boosters for people who are pregnant and breastfeeding as well as for those who may wish to become pregnant now or in the future.2

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COVID-19 vaccination doesn’t affect fertility and is safe in pregnancy, according to several studies, including an analysis of vaccine safety monitoring data (v-safe safety monitoring system) from almost 5,000 women who had a positive pregnancy test after their first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). Similarly, studies haven’t found an increased risk of miscarriage among people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine just before or during early pregnancy (before 20 weeks of pregnancy).2

Pregnancy is associated with higher risks of becoming severely ill from COVID-19 and having complications that could affect the pregnancy, compared to not being pregnant.2 A recent Public Health Agency of Canada report indicates that pregnant women with COVID-19 were approximately six times more likely to be hospitalized than non-pregnant women with the infection (11 percent versus 1.7 percent). The risk of ICU admission was also higher in this group.3

Therefore, being vaccinated against COVID-19 can help protect you and your newborn. It appears that a mother’s antibodies may be passed on to their baby during pregnancy3 and also through breastfeeding.2 At six months of age, 57 percent of babies born to people who were vaccinated during pregnancy had detectable antibodies against COVID-19, compared to just eight percent of those born to unvaccinated mothers who had a COVID-19 infection during pregnancy.4

Keep your family safe — practise social distancing, keep wearing a mask in high-risk situations, and get vaccinated against COVID-19.


This article was brought to you by vaccines411.ca. Know where to go for your vaccinations.

References

  1. CDC. COVID-19 Vaccines for People Who Would Like to Have a Baby. Updated Mar. 3, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/planning-for-pregnancy.html
  2. CDC. COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding. Updated Mar. 3, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html
  3. Canadian Surveillance Of Covid-19 In Pregnancy: Epidemiology, Maternal And Infant Outcomes. Report #1: Released December 2nd, 2020: Early Release: Maternal and Infant Outcomes (March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020) from Three Canadian Provinces. https://med-fom-ridresearch.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2020/12/CANCOVID-Preg-report-1-BC-AB-ON-data_02DEC2020.pdf
  4. Durability of Anti-Spike Antibodies in Infants After Maternal COVID-19 Vaccination or Natural Infection. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2788986?resultClick=3
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