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Sascha Ellington, PhD
Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC is encouraging people who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant now, or may become pregnant in the future to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations.
Latinas have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 with the second-highest rate of cases reaching over 65,000.
Learn how COVID-19 vaccinations can provide additional peace of mind for you and your family during pregnancy.
Navigating COVID-19 and Pregnancy
Did you know people who are pregnant or were recently pregnant are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 than people who are not pregnant?
If you become sick with COVID-19 during pregnancy, you are more likely to experience preterm birth and stillbirth and might be at higher risk for other pregnancy complications.
That’s why COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people who are pregnant or planning to expand their family in the future. Evidence continues to build showing that COVID-19 vaccination before and during pregnancy is safe and effective and can protect you, your pregnancy, and your baby.
Benefits of COVID-19 Vaccination
Vaccination builds antibodies, which help fight infection and protect from getting very sick.
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying—especially for people who are up to date with their vaccines.
If you are pregnant the antibodies can transfer to and protect your baby from getting sick in the future. Antibodies that develop after a pregnant person receives a COVID-19 vaccine have been found in the umbilical cord.
Data also show that getting vaccinated during pregnancy can help protect babies younger than 6 months old from being hospitalized with COVID-19.
This means that COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy may help protect babies against COVID-19.
Vaccine Safety Monitoring
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
Millions of doses have been safely administered including to pregnant people and people trying to become pregnant. All vaccines were evaluated in clinical trials and continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in US history.
CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have safety monitoring systems in place to specifically collect information about vaccination during pregnancy. Data from these systems have not detected any safety concerns.
CDC also launched an initiative to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in real-time through v-safe, a personalized and confidential platform that allows people to share how they or their children are feeling after getting the vaccine via text or short surveys through their smartphones.
V-safe is available in multiple languages including Spanish. You can enroll after receiving any dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
To learn more about v-safe, visit vsafe.cdc.gov or call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).
Stay Up to Date on Vaccinations
Vaccinations are the best protection against COVID-19.
If you are pregnant or have other conditions that could put you at higher risk for severe illness, stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines and talk to your healthcare provider about additional ways to reduce your risk.
It is important to use the powerful tools that exist to protect yourself from COVID-19 and also those around you, including family and friends.
Dr. Ellington is the Team Lead for the Emergency Preparedness and Response Team in CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health and co-leads the Pregnancy and Infant-Linked Outcomes Team in the agency’s emergency response to COVID-19.