COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy: What you need to know if you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding
When federal regulators approved the first two COVID-19 vaccines for general use in the U.S., they gave pregnant people and those who are breastfeeding the option to decide whether to get the immunization. But they stopped short of recommending it outright. That’s because pregnancy is a medical condition that typically excludes people from participating in clinical trials to study the safety and effectiveness of a drug. Excluding this group of people meant there was little data available.
Knowing many patients have questions about whether to get the vaccine when it’s offered to them, University of Chicago Medicine reproductive health experts specializing in maternal-fetal medicine, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, high-risk pregnancies and general obstetrics answered common questions about the vaccine and pregnancy.
While the overall risk of experiencing a severe course of COVID-19 is low, if you’re pregnant you have an increased risk of getting severely ill if you contract COVID-19. That means you have an increased risk of hospitalization, ICU admission, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment and death.