Though the overall risk of severe COVID-19 is low, pregnant people who contract the coronavirus face a higher chance of MISCARRIAGE, being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), receiving mechanical ventilation, or dying.
mRNA vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 and, therefore, cannot give someone COVID-19. Also, mRNA vaccines do not interact with a person’s DNA because the mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cell. Cells break down the mRNA quickly. Based on how mRNA vaccines work, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a specific risk for people who are pregnant.
However, the actual risks of mRNA vaccines to the pregnant person and her fetus are unknown because these vaccines have not been studied in pregnant women (CDC, 2020).
Ultimately, choosing whether or not to get the vaccine will be a personal decision for each pregnant person.
People who are pregnant may choose to be vaccinated.
A conversation between pregnant patients and their clinicians may help them decide whether to get vaccinated with a vaccine that has been authorized for use under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
The bottom line The COVID-19 vaccines, which use a technology called messenger RNA (mRNA), are thought to be safe in pregnant and lactating people.
Key considerations pregnant patients can discuss with their healthcare provider include:
- The likelihood(or risk) of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19
- Risks of COVID-19 to them and potential risks to their fetuses
- What is known about the vaccine: how well it works to develop protection in the body, known side effects of the vaccine, and lack of data during pregnancy
Pregnant patients who decide to get vaccinated should continue to follow the current guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 after they are vaccinated. That means:
- Wearing a mask
- Staying at least six feet away from others
- Avoiding crowds
- Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Following quarantine guidance after exposure to COVID-19
- Following any applicable workplace guidance