Published February 19, 2021
With release of COVID-19 vaccines, and more on the way, UBMD wants to ensure you have all the information you and your family need when the vaccines become available to you.
Yes, having this extra protection against the respiratory illness will help you avoid the possibility of having a severe reaction to COVID-19 when you are pregnant.
Yes, early research suggests that pregnant women with COVID-19 may be at increased risk for severe illness compared to non-pregnant women. Pregnant women with SARS CoV 2 infection are 3x more likely to require ICU admission than their non-pregnant counterparts. The prevalence of ICU admission was 10.5% for pregnant women and 3.9% for non-pregnant women.
Yes, theoretical concerns regarding the safety of vaccinating lactating individuals do not outweigh the potential benefits of receiving the vaccine. There is no need to avoid initiation or discontinue breastfeeding if you receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Allergic reactions are unlikely, but even if an allergic reaction occurred it would be unlikely to impact reproductive function unless prolonged and severe.
There are no known nor suspected side effects from COVID-19 vaccination on reproductive organs. There is no evidence that vaccination by itself interferes with the brain message to reproductive organs.
Getting COVID-19 may impact reproductive health by multiple mechanisms, but no studies have been done yet to investigate this aspect.
It is much more likely that getting COVID-19 will harm your fertility than getting vaccinated. Even those at very low risk of getting COVID-19 are still much more likely to benefit from vaccination than waiting. This is because the vaccinations – there are currently only two – are already proving to be very safe.
In the history of vaccines for other diseases, the overwhelming instances of side effects or problems from vaccination have become apparent with 4 weeks of vaccination. The CDC is following the short- and long-term outcomes of both trial participants, as well as anyone who is vaccinated through the V-safe smartphone app.
Whether a booster is needed in the future depends on the duration and strength of the immune response from vaccination (and that is being assessed in follow-up studies), and whether virus variants emerge that are resistant to the present vaccine. The good news is that the mRNA vaccine platform is very easily modified if need be. Also, as other vaccines are made available, there may be consideration of mixing vaccines as we learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.