COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy
January 23, 2021
We have collected some information and official guidance from the government and relevant professional bodies about the Covid-19 Vaccine, Your Pregnancy and Fertility:
RCOG – Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
JCVI – Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation
Who can have the vaccine?
Currently the vaccine has yet to be tested on pregnant women, and so the vaccine is not recommended to be provided routinely to all pregnant patients. At present, the Covid-19 vaccine is only being offered to the following groups of pregnant women who are at a higher risk of catching the virus:
- Those working in the health and social care sectors.
- Those considered clinically extremely vulnerable* (RCOG definition)
If you fall into one of these two categories, you may be offered the vaccine and have the choice to accept it or alternatively wait for more data to be published regarding its effects.
I am eligible for the vaccine – will it affect my baby?
The RCOG have previously reassured pregnant women that since the vaccine cannot replicate (unlike biological viruses) it cannot cause infection in the mother or baby.
I am breastfeeding – will the vaccine affect my baby?
The RCOG and JCVI have stated that there is no known risk associated with giving non-live vaccines such as the Covid-19 vaccine to breastfeeding patients. At present there is no data available on the effects of the vaccine on breastfeeding or the breastfed child. However, the JCVI recommend that you receive the vaccine whilst you are breastfeeding, based upon the vast benefits that breastfeeding provides for your growing child. If you have any concerns, you may decide to wait until you have completed breastfeeding before having the Covid-19 vaccine.
I have had my first dose of the vaccine but have become pregnant since, should I have the second dose?
The JCVI recommend that you delay your second dose until you have delivered your baby, unless you fall into the high-risk categories described above.
Can the Covid-19 vaccine affect fertility?
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have recently published a joint statement in response to misinformation spread about the Covid-19 vaccine’s effect on fertility. The RCOG and RCM state that there is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine may affect fertility. The RCOG President expands: ‘There is no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women’s fertility.
Evidence has not been presented that women who have been vaccinated have gone on to have fertility problems.’ – Edward Morris, President of RCOG (2021) The RCM and JCVI recommend that you speak to your midwifery/primary healthcare team regarding any queries or worries you may have about the Covid-19 vaccine.
For more information on who may be eligible and further details on the above statements, please visit the referenced links below: References: RCOG (2021). I am Pregnant and Have Been Offered a COVID-19 Vaccination. What are My Options? [Online] [Link]
RCOG (2021). The RCOG and the RCM Respond to Misinformation Around Covid-19 Vaccine and Fertility. [Online] [link]
RCOG (2020). Updated Advice on COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy and Women who are Breastfeeding [Online] [link]
JCVI (2021). COVID-19 Vaccination: A Guide For Women of Childbearing Age, Pregnant or Breastfeeding [Online] [link]