If you are planning a pregnancy you are probably wondering if it is safe to have the COVID-19 vaccine and if so, should you have it now, wait until you are pregnant or have it after pregnancy?
The advice is that you can receive the Pfizer mRNA (Cominarty) or Spikevax (Moderna) vaccine if you are either planning a pregnancy or if you are currently pregnant.
The reasoning for getting vaccinated is that the potential risk of severe outcomes associated with actually contracting COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby.
You do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.
You are also not required to have a pregnancy test before getting vaccinated.
The COVID-19 Vaccines do not contain live virus and they cannot transmit COVID-19. They all aim to evoke an immune response against coronavirus.
It is important to note that the first dose may only provide partial protection against COVID-19, and this protection may be short-lived. You will only have maximum protection after two doses given at least three weeks apart.
Global surveillance data from large numbers of pregnant women have not identified any significant safety concerns with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines given at any stage of pregnancy. Pfizer (Comirnaty) and Spikevax (Moderna) are mRNA vaccines.
There is no evidence that women who become pregnant after being vaccinated against COVID-19 have an increased risk of developing complications that affect their pregnancy or their baby’s health.
Furthermore, there is evidence of antibody in cord blood and breastmilk, which may offer protection to infants through passive immunity.
These recommendations follow advice provided by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).
To view the RANZCOG guidelines for pregnant and breastfeeding women and those planning pregnancy, please visit https://ranzcog.edu.au/statements-guidelines/covid-19-statement/covid-19-vaccination-information for more detailed information.
I encourage all women to discuss their decision in relation to the timing of vaccination with their health professional first.
For further information about other COVID-19 vaccines and the latest advice please follow the links provided below:
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: COVID-19 Vaccination in pregnant and breastfeeding women
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine: COVID-19 updates and resources
- Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists: COVID-19 vaccines, pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Australian Government Department of Health: COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women
- Australian Government: COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning pregnancy