Fast Facts about the COVID-19 vaccine for those who are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding or pumping:

We highly recommend anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding get both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. We also know this is a personal choice. In addition to reading the facts below, please talk with your health care provider about any questions or hesitations.

To date, these specific vaccines have not been studied in pregnant humans. However, doctors and scientists feel confident recommending that pregnant and lactating people get a COVID-19 vaccine because:

  • The effects of similar vaccines have been studied during pregnancy and did not show negative effects;

  • the COVID-19 vaccine has been studied in pregnant rats and did not show negative effects; and

  • the COVID-19 disease itself is tends to be more severe in pregnant people.

​Thus, receiving the vaccine is believed to be safer than getting COVID-19.

What Studies Show

Safety

COVID-19 vaccines cannot cause COVID-19 infection.

The vaccine may cause uncomfortable side effects. This is a normal reaction caused by the body developing antibodies to protect against COVID-19 illness.

These possible side effects include: 

  • Most common: Injection site reactions (e.g., redness, soreness)

  • Other common reactions: Achiness and fatigue

In most cases, any side effects will be less severe and resolve faster than the effects of the virus itself.

Side Effects

Since the vaccine does not contain the virus, there is no risk of breastmilk containing the virus. Similar vaccines have not shown any risk to an infant receiving breastmilk.

 

We do not yet know about other ways these specific COVID-19 vaccines impact lactation.

Breast Milk

The COVID-19 vaccine cannot change your DNA, the DNA of your fetus, or the DNA of your baby via breastmilk.

Genetics

There is no evidence that the vaccines impact fertility, including egg and sperm quality or quantity. You can get the vaccine while trying to conceive.

Fertility

Vaccines from both companies have been shown to be about 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 illness after the second dose.

 

Since people under 16 years old cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine, you will help protect babies and children by getting yours.

Efficacy

Learn More About the COVID-19 Vaccine

For general information, including priority groups, visit the Baltimore City Health Department's COVID Vaccine Information webpage

For questions, contact the Baltimore City Health Department:

Sources

Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients Against COVID-19 (ACOG)
Vaccination Considerations for People who are Pregnant or Breastfeeding (CDC)
Vaccine Info for Pregnant Women (Boston Medical Center)

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Baltimore City Health DepartmentFamily League of Baltimore, and HealthCare Access Maryland

 

Made possible by generous funding from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, City of Baltimore, Maryland Department of Health, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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