- By Joel Streed
COVID Queries: Pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine
Q: I'm pregnant, and I've heard that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is dangerous for the baby. Should I wait to get it until after I deliver?
A: Actually, getting the vaccine during pregnancy is perfectly safe for most women.
There is no evidence that any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccines, causes fertility problems in men or women, or that they cause adverse pregnancy-related outcomes. To the contrary, pregnant and recently pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 infection. This can include hospitalization, the need for a ventilator to breathe, and even death.
Also, pregnant women who get COVID-19 are at an increased risk of preterm labor, which could lead to adverse delivery outcomes.
"The evidence shows that pregnant women are part of an increased risk group, and so we strongly encourage them to get vaccinated against COVID-19," says Martin Herrmann, M.D., medical director of Mayo Clinic Health System in Waseca and New Prague. "The benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine definitely outweigh the minimal potential risk of vaccination during pregnancy."
In addition, the vaccine may also provide protection to the baby. A pregnant mother who is vaccinated builds antibodies against COVID-19, and those antibodies can be found in umbilical cord blood. But more research is needed on how the antibodies may provide protection to babies after birth.
Mayo Clinic Health System consists of clinics, hospitals and other facilities that serve the health care needs of people in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The community-based providers, paired with the resources and expertise of Mayo Clinic, enable patients in the region to receive highest-quality physical and virtual health care close to home.
Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.
For the safety of our patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a nonpatient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.
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