Building Healthier Families, One Shot at a Time | Opinion
As an Obstetrician-Gynecologist at Watertown Regional Medical Center, my goal is to always provide the best possible medical care and advice to pregnant women and women who are considering becoming pregnant. I love helping mothers-to-be stay healthy and prepare to welcome their babies into the world. As you can imagine, one of the most important conversations I have had with my patients lately is about COVID-19 vaccines and their safety for those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
First of all, let me say that COVID-19 vaccines continue to be safe and effective against serious illnesses, and getting vaccinated is our best defense against this illness. This is true for pregnant women and people who are planning to become pregnant. As a joint statement from a number of leading expert organizations in maternal care and public health has just stated, all pregnant people, those newly pregnant, those planning to become pregnant, those who are nursing mothers and others are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19. . These vaccines have been thoroughly researched and tested, and there is no known evidence of adverse effects on fertility (in women or men) or on fetal development following vaccination. before or even during pregnancy. Whether you are pregnant, recently had a baby, or are planning to start or expand your family, I sincerely encourage you to get vaccinated if you haven’t already. I also hope you take a moment to review my answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy and that it will help you achieve the peace of mind that comes with protecting against this virus.
Why is it important for pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Pregnant people are at a higher risk of serious illness, complications and death than non-pregnant people if they are infected with COVID-19. Plus, in some cases, pregnancy can be accompanied by medical conditions that put women at even greater risk. The best way to protect yourself from the potential damage from COVID-19 infection is to get vaccinated. This is especially true with the continued increase in cases of the more contagious Delta variant and new variants as they emerge.
Does COVID-19 vaccine cause fertility problems in women or men? The simple answer is no. There is no evidence that obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine affects fertility in people trying to become pregnant, including those using in vitro fertilization methods. Safety profiles and how vaccines work to prevent infections and illnesses from COVID-19 do not cause infertility in men or women.
If I am trying to become pregnant, should I avoid becoming pregnant for a specific period after being vaccinated?
No. Whether you are trying to have a baby now or in the future, both parents can be safely given the COVID-19 vaccine. There is no need for a waiting period. Additionally, if you become pregnant after your first dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you should still receive your second dose as recommended (three weeks after your first dose of Pfizer and four weeks after your first dose of Moderna).
Do I have to take a pregnancy test before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine? No. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend routine pregnancy tests before getting vaccinated for COVID-19.
What if I am currently pregnant or breastfeeding? Is it safe for me to get vaccinated?
Yes. Whether you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding your new baby, it is safe to get vaccinated against COVID-19. None of the vaccines licensed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration contain the live COVID-19 virus, so the vaccines do not pose a risk of COVID-19 infection to you or your baby.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, there has never been a better or more urgent time to get your COVID-19 vaccine if you haven’t already. With the virus continuing to spread and the increased risks of serious illness and pregnancy complications that can result from COVID-19 infection in pregnant people, it is important to get vaccinated.
If you have any concerns about vaccination, I encourage you to discuss them with your provider and make the choice to be a Vaccine Hero. Let’s work together to end this pandemic and help create a healthy future for our families.