If you are pregnant and get COVID-19, you have a greater chance of getting very sick. This puts you in a high-risk category. By getting the COVID-19 vaccine, pregnant women significantly reduce their risk of complications

Coronavirus Updates, Womens Health | one month ago

Pregnant or Trying to Get Pregnant? Here's What You Should Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Lorene Temming, MD, OB/GYN, Maternal Fetal Medicine and Medical Director of Labor and Delivery with Atrium Health and Katie Passaretti, MD, medical director of infection prevention at Atrium Health share information surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy.

Q: If I am pregnant, should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • If you are pregnant and get COVID-19, you have a greater chance of getting very sick. This puts you in a high-risk category.
  • Even though you may be high risk, we don’t know how safe COVID-19 vaccines are for pregnant women. This is because pregnant women have not been part of any studies of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • There are different types of COVID-19 vaccines. Some of these types have been studied in pregnant women and some have not.
    • mRNA vaccine (not studied in pregnant women for other viruses) - the first COVID vaccine available. This type does not have a live virus. It is thought to be low risk.
    • Viral vector vaccines (studied in pregnant women for other viruses) – in phase 3 trials. This type also does not have live virus and has been used before in other vaccines like the one for the Ebola virus. When given to pregnant women it met safety standards.
    • Other COVID -19 vaccines (studied in pregnant women for other viruses) – now in earlier stages of development. These types use more traditional methods that are well-studied with pregnant women.
  • Any type of COVID vaccine may give some protection to the baby. The baby could get some of the antibodies (proteins made by the immune system to fight the virus) from the mom.
  • If you are thinking about getting the vaccine, talk to your doctor. Find out what risk factors you have that could make you very sick with COVID-19. You should also talk about safety and the risk of the vaccine. You and your doctor can decide if getting the vaccine is the best choice.

Q: How else can I protect myself from COVID-19 while I’m pregnant?

  • Pregnant women have a greater chance of getting very sick from COVID-19. This is why it’s important to protect yourself.
  • Pregnant women and their families should practice COVID-safe behaviors. You should stay a safe distance from others, wear a mask and wash your hands often.   
  • Healthcare workers who care for pregnant women are near the top of the list to get the vaccine when it is available.
  • Family members of pregnant women should also think about getting the vaccine when it is available to them.

Q: What if I get the vaccine and then find out I was pregnant when I got it?

  • If you find out you were pregnant when you got the vaccine, the risk is still low.
  • Even though the COVID vaccine trials that have already been completed did not Intentionally include pregnant women, some women may have gotten pregnant during the study and we will have some information on these women. Also, some current COVID 19 vaccine trials are starting to enroll pregnant women. We will have information from these trials in the future on the pregnant women who were included.

Q: If I am a healthcare worker who is pregnant or breastfeeding, should I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

  • If you are a healthcare worker, you may be at a higher risk of getting COVID-19.  
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you can talk to your doctor. Find out what risk factors you have that could make you very sick with COVID-19. You should also talk about safety and the risk of the vaccine. You and your doctor can decide if getting the vaccine is the best choice.

Q:  Should a person get the vaccine if they’re trying to get pregnant or having fertility treatment?

  • The American Society for Reproductive Medicine does not recommend avoiding the COVID-19 vaccine for patients who are planning to get pregnant. Patients undergoing fertility treatment should consider getting vaccinated when eligible based on their risk factors (such as being a healthcare worker or having higher-risk medical conditions) for COVID-19 infection. Since the vaccine is not a live virus, there is no reason to delay pregnancy attempts because you have received the vaccine or if you plan get the vaccine later. Because the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine does not have a live virus, they are not thought to cause an increased risk of infertility, first or second trimester loss, stillbirth or congenital abnormalities.

This information is current as of December 17, and may be updated when more information is available.


Dr. Temming is the lead physician for Atrium Health’s labor and delivery coronavirus response and part of the Atrium Health highly infectious disease team. She works on clinical protocols, research and quality improvement on labor and delivery. Dr. Temming is Board certified in Obstetrics and gynecology and in maternal fetal medicine by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology 

Dr. Passaretti serves as the Medical Director of Infection Prevention for Atrium Health and is an attending faculty physician in the Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Passaretti is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, and has been instrumental in leading Atrium Health's efforts on the COVID-19 task force.