Fertility, Pregnancy and the COVID-19 Vaccines

Find answers to frequently asked questions here.

COVID vaccines, pregnancy and fertility

COVID vaccines and your baby's health

COVID vaccines, allergies and vaccine ingredients

Vaccines and a person's period (menstruation)

Breastfeeding and COVID vaccination

Can I get the COVID vaccine if I am pregnant or trying to get pregnant?

Yes, you can get vaccinated when pregnant and if you are trying to get pregnant. In fact, it is recommended that if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you get up to date on COVID and all other vaccines. People who are pregnant are more likely to get very sick if they get COVID, compared to people who are not pregnant. COVID infection (not the vaccine) increases the risk for complications in your pregnancy that can affect you and your developing baby’s health. Talk to your provider if you have questions about the COVID vaccine or other vaccines you may need.

Will getting the COVID vaccine cause problems with my pregnancy or in getting pregnant?

There is currently no evidence that vaccine ingredients or antibodies made following COVID-19 vaccination cause any problems with becoming pregnant now or in the future. Studies found no differences in pregnancy success rates among women who had antibodies from COVID vaccines. This study of more than 2,000 women aged 21-45 years and their partners found that COVID vaccination of either partner did not affect the likelihood of becoming pregnant.

Can the COVID vaccines cause infertility in men?

There is currently no evidence from research studies that were conducted showing that any vaccine, including COVID vaccines, cause male fertility problems. This study of more than 2,000 women aged 21-45 years and their partners found that COVID vaccination of either partner did not affect the likelihood of becoming pregnant.

Is there a certain amount of time a person should wait after receiving a COVID vaccine before trying to get pregnant?

No, you do not need to wait to become pregnant after getting vaccinated.

Is one vaccine more highly recommended for pregnant women than the others?

All of the vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer and Novavax) are recommended for pregnant women and can be given at any time before or during pregnancy.

If I am pregnant and I have side effects from the COVID vaccine, what should I do?

For most people, side effects consist of mild to moderate fever, chills, body aches and pains, headaches and injection-site pain. They generally resolve within one or two days. Pregnant people can take Tylenol after vaccination to help with side effects. Talk to your OB/GYN if you have concerns about how to manage side effects.

I already had COVID. Do I need to get vaccinated?

Yes, getting vaccinated will give you a higher level of protection that is longer lasting than antibodies from a COVID infection. It’s important to know that getting sick from COVID during pregnancy is associated with increased health risks and pregnancy complications.

How does getting vaccinated protect my baby?

When a pregnant woman is vaccinated for COVID, she passes her antibodies to her baby, giving her baby protection from COVID infection. These antibodies last about six months. This is why COVID vaccines for babies are recommended starting at six months of age.

Are there any concerns about the baby's developmental growth, specifically during the first trimester, if you’ve gotten vaccinated before or during the first trimester?

The vaccine can be given at any time during pregnancy. There is no evidence that the vaccines have any effect on developmental growth of the baby during any stage of pregnancy.

Can COVID vaccines cause a birth defect in an unborn child?

There is no evidence that the vaccines can cause a birth defect in an unborn child.

If the baby might have a birth defect, should a pregnant woman still think about getting vaccinated?

Yes. There is no reason not to get vaccinated if the baby may have a birth defect.

Can the COVID-19 vaccines cause miscarriage?

There is no evidence that the vaccines cause miscarriage. Learn more.

When should my baby get the COVID vaccine?

COVID vaccines are recommended for babies 6 months old and older. Talk to your baby’s doctor or healthcare provider about COVID and other recommended vaccines for your new baby.

Who should not get a COVID vaccine?

Anyone who had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of a COVID vaccine, or who had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in a COVID vaccine, should not receive another dose of that vaccine. Talk to your provider if you are concerned about allergies.

  • If you are allergic to polyethylene glycol (PEG), you should not get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines
  • If you are allergic to polysorbate, you should not get Novavax COVID-19 vaccines

Learn more about the vaccines’ ingredients.

Do the vaccines contain preservatives, antibiotics, animal products, latex, or foods that I could be allergic to?

None of the following are included in the vaccines:

  • Preservatives such as thimerosal, mercury or any other preservatives
  • Antibiotics
  • Ivermectin or any other medications
  • Tissues such as aborted fetal cells, gelatin, or any materials from any animal
  • Food proteins such as eggs or egg products, gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, nut products, or any nut byproducts
    • COVID-19 vaccines are not manufactured in facilities that produce food products
  • Metals such as iron, nickel, cobalt, titanium, or rare earth alloys
    • They also do not have any manufactured products like microelectronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes or other nanostructures, or nanowire semiconductors
  • Latex; the vial stoppers used to hold the vaccine also do not contain latex

Can COVID vaccines affect a person’s period (menstruation)?

Yes, research studies show that people who menstruate may observe temporary changes in their periods after COVID vaccination, including:

  • Longer-lasting menstrual periods
  • Shorter intervals between periods
  • Heavier bleeding than usual

These changes are temporary. There is no evidence that these short-term changes in a person’s period can cause fertility problems.

Should I get a COVID vaccine when I’m breastfeeding?

Yes, people who are breastfeeding can receive a COVID vaccine.

Were people who are breastfeeding included in vaccine studies?

People who are breastfeeding were not included in clinical trials for the COVID vaccines currently used in the United States. To date, there has been no evidence to suggest that COVID vaccines are harmful to people who received a vaccine and are breastfeeding or to their babies. Studies suggest that COVID vaccines are safe for people who are breastfeeding and their babies.

Will I have COVID antibodies in my breast milk if I get vaccinated?

Yes, breastfeeding people who have received a COVID vaccine have antibodies in their breast milk, which help protect their babies from severe COVID disease.

Where can I learn more about COVID vaccines, pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Visit the CDC’s website and talk to your primary care doctor, OB/GYN or your child’s pediatrician

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