Can Pregnant Women Get The COVID-19 Vaccine Injection?

Is The COVID-19 Vaccine Harmful In Pregnancy? - DoctorOnCall

Pregnant women are at risk of getting more severe complications than non-pregnant women for COVID-19. COVID-19 infection has also been linked to an increased risk of premature birth. However, the COVID-19 vaccination for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding has not been a priority at this time. What is the reason? Read this article for more details.

Is COVID-19 Vaccines Safe For Pregnant Women?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women are at high risk of being infected with COVID-19. Nevertheless, there is still insufficient data in terms of clinical trials and additional studies on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, including mRNA vaccines to be given during pregnancy. For the time being, the available information for the COVID-19 vaccine consideration for pregnant women is as follows.

  • The data currently available comes from reproductive toxicity studies on animals. The study showed no safety problems demonstrated in laboratory rats receiving the Moderna vaccine before or during pregnancy, meanwhile, studies on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are still ongoing. 
  • Researchers are still evaluating the safety, tolerance, and immunogenic factors in studies planned for pregnant women. 

Referring to a study conducted by one of the pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer, important data on the safety of vaccination during pregnancy will be produced. However, at present, the required data are not yet available for the Phase 3 study. The study in Phases 2 and 3 will involve approximately 4,000 women with gestational age around 24 to 34 weeks. Some volunteers will be vaccinated, while others will be given placebo injections. Similar to other vaccination volunteers, pregnant women will also receive two doses of the vaccine at an interval of 21 days. After vaccination, the pregnant mother will be monitored for the next 7 to 10 months. After delivery, the baby will also be monitored until the age of 6 months.

On top of that, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will conduct careful safety monitoring to record information about vaccinations during pregnancy.

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend COVID-19 vaccination to pregnant women at this time due to the insufficient data involved. However, an exception can be applied if the pregnant woman has a possible high exposure to COVID-19, such as a health worker. Vaccination can be considered with the permission and advice of experts. Meanwhile, for people who are breastfeeding with the same likelihood of exposure is recommended for vaccination. WHO also does not encourage women to stop breastfeeding after vaccination.

The same thing was stressed by local authorities that for the time being, pregnant women are not a priority for COVID-19 vaccine injections due to the insufficient data on this matter. Pregnant women still can get an injection of the COVID-19 vaccine but should seek the advice of a specialist or respective doctor. In addition, pregnant women or women who are trying to conceive should seek further advice from a specialist to consider the need to take the COVID-19 vaccine, depending on their health status. This was emphasized because there was still confusion as they thought they were not allowed to take the COVID-19 vaccine and fear of the side effects on themselves, the fetus and the child that is still breastfeeding.

Speak to an obstetrician for a healthy and worry-free pregnancy.

Is Vaccination For Pregnant Women A Personal Choice?

Based on the CDC’s view, pregnant mothers who are a part of the group recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, such as healthcare workers, may choose to get vaccinated. Advice from a specialist or doctor can help them in deciding whether to receive the vaccine or not. 

Vaccination considerations for pregnant women that need to be discussed based on several factors such as:

  • Susceptibility to COVID-19 infection
  • Unknown risk of COVID-19 to pregnant women and potential risk to the fetus 
  • Well informed about the vaccine - including the function of the immune system, side effects of the vaccine, and the lack of research data on vaccination during pregnancy.


In conclusion, COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women is not a priority at the time being. However, this does not mean that it is dangerous for this group. Any speculation is discouraged before solid data is obtained from a reliable source. If you are pregnant and want to take the vaccine, you are advised to talk to your doctor regarding this matter as it is a personal choice and dependent on your health status. 

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