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Common questions about COVID vaccine and pregnancy

Nov. 15, 2021, 10:35 AM

 

Recently, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Chief Epidemiologist, Dr. Tom Talbot, sat down to speak with his colleague Dr. Milner Staub, one of VUMC’s Adult Infectious Diseases specialists, about COVID vaccines, pregnancy and fertility.

Staub, who is pregnant and has been vaccinated for COVID, answered important questions about issues and misperceptions associated with pregnancy and COVID vaccines. You can watch their short discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lixkFPN7n5w

Frequently Asked Questions-

If I’m pregnant, should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes! COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant women. Available evidence shows that the vaccines do not cause premature birth, miscarriage, or other unfortunate outcomes that can sometimes occur in pregnancy. The vaccines will not harm the placenta or fetus. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2782047

If you get infected with COVID-19 when you’re pregnant, your risk of getting very sick is much higher than if you weren’t pregnant. This is especially true during late pregnancy. COVID-19 infection during the 3rd trimester also raises the risk of fetal death. Such an association has not been seen with the vaccines.

If you’re pregnant, a COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your baby. Studies have shown that women who get the vaccine when they’re pregnant will pass antibodies onto their babies through breast milk. Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html

If I get the vaccine, do I need to wait before I get pregnant?

No. You do not need to wait until after you’ve had both doses to get pregnant. If you get pregnant after your first shot, get your second shot on schedule.

I’ve seen reports the vaccine can cause infertility by interfering with formation of the placenta. Will the vaccine make me infertile?

No. Stories and claims on social media and anti-vaccination websites saying that the vaccine interferes with the formation of the placenta are FALSE. A great review of the issues and facts can be found here.

Is there a higher incidence of complications during pregnancy associated with COVID vaccinations? Several studies have found there is no increased risk of spontaneous abortion, stillbirths or low birth weight between those who have received the vaccination and those who have not.

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