Is the COVID Vaccine Safe During Pregnancy? | The Doctor Weighs In
Medical review by William H. Bestermann, Jr., MD
There is no data to support that the vaccine will negatively affect your ability to get pregnant, now or in the future.
Although many folks are looking forward to receiving the highly-anticipated COVID vaccine, there are others who are meeting this opportunity with trepidation rather than anticipation — specifically women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. And why is this? Primarily it’s because up until this point, there has been limited published data about the COVID vaccine and pregnancy. Pregnant women were intentionally left out (due to historical and ethical reasons) of these initial studies looking at the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, though as the trials progressed, a small number of enrolled women did become pregnant and no adverse outcomes have yet been reported in this group. So with all this in mind, let’s talk about what we do know.
The COVID vaccine is safe
Though it seems that these vaccines were created quickly, the science behind these vaccines has been known and tested by scientists for decades. The perception also that the trials proceeded (perhaps too) quickly needs to be qualified by the fact that the data was obtained during a pandemic which allowed for massive amounts of information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine to be collected in record time. This vaccine has been tested with the same rigors and held to the same standards as any other vaccine on the market — the setting just allowed this to happen much more quickly, much to our benefit.
With safety assured, it is important to point out that there can still be some short-lived vaccine side effects associated with the COVID vaccine, similar to that which we see for others (such as the flu vaccine which is given routinely in pregnancy). These symptoms include body aches, headache, fatigue, and fever, all generated by our own healthy immune system’s response to the vaccine — it’s actually a good sign that the body is mounting a robust response against any future foreign invader! These effects can easily and safely be managed in pregnant women with acetaminophen if needed.