Healthcare workers answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.
OB/GYNs, a nurse and midwife on 5 things to know about the COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy, including safety, efficacy and why not to wait. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine protects you and your baby.
Question #1: The COVID-19 vaccine is safe in any trimester
Yolanda Tinajero, MD: What I try to explain to patients is that the vaccine is safe and at any trimester in their pregnancy.
Eva Goodfriend-Reaño, CNM: There is absolutely not any increased risk or any relationship between getting the COVID vaccine and a risk for miscarriage.
Joia Crear-Perry, MD: The truth is you’re more vulnerable when you’re pregnant, waiting till after you have the baby, it’s actually putting yourself in more harm you and the baby and more harm’s way, because you are actually more at risk while you’re pregnant.
Monica McLemore, PhD, RN, MPH: You want your immune system protecting you and your baby. You don’t want it having to fight off something else. It is important that it is serving its essential function during pregnancy, which is to help keep you and your baby healthy.
Question #2: Your COVID-19 vaccine protects your baby too
Eva Goodfriend-Reaño, CNM: When pregnant people get the COVID vaccine those protections pass through the placenta. So, it means that newborn babies that are born to pregnant people that get the vaccine are protected when they’re born.
Joia Crear-Perry, MD: If you’re thinking about what can I do to really be healthy, because I’m nervous about COVID and I want my baby to be healthy and I want to be healthy, the vaccine is the best way for you and your baby to be healthy.
Yolanda Tinajero, MD: And, for me, it’s super important, not only as a healthcare provider, but because I’m also pregnant and want to make sure that my pregnancy is as safe as possible.
Question #3: COVID-19 increases risk of complications in pregnancy
Monica McLemore, PhD, RN, MPH: Pregnancy is a condition that, by definition, causes immunosuppression. Your immune system is already working overtime to keep you and your baby safe.
Yolanda Tinajero, MD: During pregnancy, the body has particular changes that might actually make you more susceptible to respiratory infections. And, so, patients who are pregnant can actually develop more severe infections of COVID-19.
Joia Crear Perry, MD: If you are pregnant and contract COVID-19, you’re about six times more likely to be admitted to the ICU. And you’re about four times more likely to have a baby that comes too early. So, what we want to do to decrease that risk is get you vaccinated.
Question #4: The COVID-19 vaccine does not affect fertility
Monica McLemore, PhD, RN, MPH: If you’re not yet pregnant, we have no evidence that shows that COVID-19 vaccination causes infertility, or that reduces your fertile window.
Eva Goodfriend-Reaño, CNM: We can say with confidence that there really is not anything in the COVID vaccine that could impact someone’s fertility.
Joia Crear-Perry, MD: In fact, I have a 28 year old daughter and I was so excited that she got vaccinated. I want to make sure that she preserves her future ability to maintain a pregnancy. And, so, the best way was to ensure she is vaccinated.
Question #5: COVID-19 vaccine boosters increase protection in pregnancy
Eva Goodfriend-Reaño, CNM: We’re recommending boosters for pregnant people at any trimester and including in the six weeks postpartum.
Monica McLemore, PhD, RN, MPH: Immunity wanes over time, right? And, so, by boosting our immune systems, it allows us to have this continued level of protection that we had when we were initially inoculated.
Yolanda Tinajero, MD: My goal is to have the, a safe and healthy pregnancy. And I know that because these vaccines have been deemed to be safe and effective, I want to be able to provide my baby the opportunity to hopefully be as protected as possible against COVID-19.