A green-tinted image sows a pregnant person resting a hand on their belly and looking at an ultrasound photo of a fetus.
Illustration: PGN

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What you need to know 

  • People who are or were recently pregnant are more likely to become seriously sick from a COVID-19 infection.
  • If a pregnant person gets infected with COVID-19, their baby is at risk of severe outcomes.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and recommended for pregnant people, and it protects their babies, too. Visit Vaccines.gov to find an appointment near you.

This fall, the FDA approved updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax, but uptake has been limited across populations, including pregnant people. Data shows pregnant people are less likely to get vaccinated against COVID-19, despite their increased risk of severe illness, death, and adverse pregnancy outcomes if infected.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 prevents negative outcomes from infection, and it’s safe and recommended during pregnancy.

Read on to find out more about pregnancy and the updated COVID-19 vaccine: When pregnant people can get it, how it protects babies, what other vaccines are recommended during pregnancy, and more.

Is the updated COVID-19 vaccine safe for pregnant people and their babies?

Yes. Dozens of studies show that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is safe for people who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant as well as for their developing fetuses.

Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccination prevents severe illness and death resulting from COVID-19 infection. This is especially important for pregnant people, who face a higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection, including miscarriage, preterm birth, and stillbirth.

Babies who are exposed to COVID-19 vaccines in utero are protected up to 6 months and are less likely to die or be admitted to a NICU than those who are not exposed to COVID-19 vaccines.

When should pregnant people get the updated COVID-19 vaccine?

The CDC, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine recommend COVID-19 vaccination at any point during pregnancy.

You can also get the updated COVID-19 vaccine if you’ve recently been pregnant, if you’re breastfeeding, or if you’re trying to conceive. There is strong evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t impact fertility.

If you currently have a COVID-19 infection, the CDC recommends you wait until your symptoms resolve to get your updated COVID-19 vaccine.

What other vaccines are recommended for pregnant people?

The CDC recommends that pregnant people get the Tdap vaccine, which protects pregnant people and their babies against whooping cough, between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. The CDC also recommends that pregnant people get the flu shot (the injection, not the nasal vaccine) at any point during pregnancy and the RSV vaccine between 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy if you’re pregnant from September through January.

Vaccines that are not recommended during pregnancy include the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, the nasal flu vaccine, the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, and certain travel vaccines, unless they’re recommended by your health care provider.

For more information, talk to your health care provider.