Covid 19 Vaccines and Pregnancy

Covid 19 Vaccines and Pregnancy
May 27 11:25 2021 by admin Print This Article

The arrival of COVID 19 vaccines hopefully signals the beginning of the end of the pandemic. While the vaccines have all been tested and approved for use, people still have some hesitations about being vaccinated. One of the biggest doubts or questions is whether pregnant or lactating women should be given the vaccine. While there are no clear answers to this question, here are the facts about vaccination and pregnancy that will help you to make the right decisions for yourself and your unborn child.

More Questions than Answers

Although the development of COVID 19 vaccines has been done at a pace that has never been achieved before, no corners were cut in the safety, trial, testing, and safety and efficacy evaluation procedures. All the required protocols have been observed. However, while the results are that the vaccines are effective and safe to use, no tests have yet been done on pregnant women. Even if tests and evaluation of the safety of these vaccines for pregnant or lactating women begin soon, it will be many months, if not longer, before reliable data on safety is available.

Except for the smallpox vaccine which is known to cause rare but often serious infections of the fetus, vaccines are generally safe for pregnant women and their unborn children. The same should hold true for the COVID 19 vaccines, including the new mRNA vaccines which do not contain live viruses.

Pregnant women face the risk of severe illness if they contract COVID 19. Besides the risk of premature birth, the disease can have serious outcomes for both mother and child. The vaccine risk, if any, is unknown. So, what should a woman who is pregnant or lactating do? The expert advice is not definitive. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the U.S.A. says that those who are pregnant and in a group that has been advised to take the vaccine, such as healthcare workers, may choose to do so. It says that mRNA vaccine are not thought to be a risk to a breastfeeding infant. The  American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says that COVID 19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant women who meet the medical criteria for vaccination. However, the ACOG adds that because of the lack of valid data, the possible risks to both mother and child are unknown.

Two of the most respected medical associations in the world say that the vaccines should be safe but are unwilling to advise pregnant and lactating women to get vaccinated positively. With no evidence available either for or against the use of the vaccine, doctors and medical facilities cannot make a general recommendation either way. That leaves such women in a quandary. The pandemic is still raging, and it will be many months, if not longer, before we can say that the COVID 19 threat no longer exists. Waiting for medical establishments to give a general yes or no to vaccines is not possible for pregnant or lactating  women. They need an answer now. Unfortunately, there is none.

The Way Ahead

Vaccines are generally safe for pregnant and lactating women. However, the evidence in regard to COVID 19 vaccines is still not definitive. If you fall into either of these categories, you do not want to risk getting COVID 19, but you also do not want to risk any adverse reaction from the vaccine. In such a situation, the best course of action will be to have a complete check-up done at a hospital with a specialized Obstetrics and Gynecology Department. Once the results are available, a specialist will be able to discuss the pros and cons of vaccination with you so that your mind is at peace and you are able to make the right decisions for yourself and your unborn child.


Kauvery Hospital is globally known for its multidisciplinary services at all its Centers of Excellence, and for its comprehensive, Avant-Grade technology, especially in diagnostics and remedial care in heart diseases, transplantation, vascular and neurosciences medicine. Located in the heart of Trichy (Tennur, Royal Road and Alexandria Road (Cantonment), Chennai, Hosur, Salem, Tirunelveli and Bengaluru, the hospital also renders adult and pediatric trauma care.

Chennai – 044 4000 6000 • Trichy – Cantonment – 0431 4077777 • Trichy – Heartcity – 0431 4003500 • Trichy – Tennur – 0431 4022555 • Hosur – 04344 272727 • Salem – 0427 2677777 • Tirunelveli – 0462 4006000 • Bengaluru – 080 6801 6801

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