COVID-19 vaccination programs are being rolled out across many countries. Among those who are getting the first doses of the vaccine include healthcare workers, older adults, and those with health issues like heart conditions and diabetes.1 But what about the COVID-19 vaccine for mother and child communities? Let’s take a look at what’s being advised by medical and scientific professionals when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine for mother and child.

Vaccination progress around the world

Some countries are leading the drive to vaccinate most – if not all – of their populations as soon as possible.2

There are some sections of global populations that are still not actively being given the vaccination, like pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children. This is because there is still not enough data3 on the effect of the vaccine on these groups. However, the first clinical trials of the vaccine involving pregnant women and children have commenced.4

The COVID-19 vaccine for mother and child communities: What we know so far

Can mothers with allergies get the vaccination?

You cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. If you have food or other allergies, the medical consensus is that you can get the COVID-19 vaccine after consulting your healthcare provider.5

What are the ingredients in the vaccine that could cause an allergic reaction?

“The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 contains polyethylene glycol (PEG),” explains The Green Book,5 which contains the latest information on vaccines in the United Kingdom (UK). PEG is from a group of allergens sometimes found in medicines, household goods, and cosmetics. So, if you are allergic to PEG, then your doctor may ask you to avoid the mRNA vaccine and take an alternative one that does not contain PEG instead.

Medical experts6 agree that you should still speak to a health professional about any allergies you have – to food, medicine, or anything else – before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Some people have experienced severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) after getting the first dose of the vaccine. If this happens to you, the medical recommendation is that you do not get the second dose.6

Can breastfeeding moms be vaccinated?

So far, breastfeeding mothers have not been included in any clinical trials of the vaccine. But expert medical opinion7 is that the vaccine should not have negative effects on lactating moms and their children.

The COVID-19 vaccine and children

Children under the age of 168 have been excluded in vaccination programs around the world so far due to insufficient data on the effects of the vaccine on them. Yet, medical experts9 say that for the pandemic to be brought fully under control, children need to be vaccinated, too.

The good news is that the first ever study of the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine on children has commenced.10 The study, conducted by the University of Oxford, will find out if children aged 6-17 years old have a good immune response to the vaccination. Meanwhile, one of the newer vaccines to be developed will be tested in infants, newborns, and pregnant women.11

Quick facts to keep in mind about the COVID-19 vaccine for mothers and children

  • If you get the vaccination while pregnant, it is unlikely this will negatively affect your baby. But, vaccination is an important step to protect you and possibly your child. A study finds that antibodies produced by pregnant women in response to the COVID-19 vaccine cross the placenta, offering protection to their babies.12

  • Expected reactions to the COVID-19: pain and swelling on the arm around the injection site; fever; chills; body aches; fatigue; headache.13 Some people also get a red, itchy rash at the injection site. This is known as “COVID arm”. You can still get the second vaccination if you get this reaction.14

  • The vaccination cannot give you or your child COVID-19, neither can it alter your DNA nor will it make you infertile.15 Instead, it will protect you from potentially serious health complications of COVID-19.15

References :

  1. “Coronavirus disease: Vaccine access and allocation.” WHO. Published on Oc 28, 2020. Retrieved on March 2, 2021 from

  2. “COVID-19 vaccine tracker: The global race to vaccinate.” Financial Times. Updated on March 1, 2021. Retrieved on March 2, 2021 from

  3. “The Moderna COVID-19 (mRNA-1273) vaccine: What you need to know”. WHO. Published Jan 26, 2021. Retrieved on March 2, 2021 from

  4. “Pfizer and Biontech commence global clinical trial to evaluate COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women.” Pfizer. Published on Feb 18, 2021. Retrieved on March 01, 2021 from

  5. “Chapter 14-a-COVID-19-SARS-COV-2”. The Green Book. Published Feb 12, 2021. Retrieved on March 02, 2021 from

  6. “COVID-19 vaccine and allergies.” Anaphylaxis Campaign. Retrieved on March 02, 2021 from

  7. “Wondering about the COVID-19 vaccine if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding?” Harvard Health Publishing. Published on Jan 07, 2021. Retrieved on March 02, 2021 from,vaccines%20suggest%20this%20is%20true

  8. “Who can take the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine?” WHO. Published on Jan 8, 2021. Retrieved on March 9, 2021 from

  9. “Vaccinating children against COVID-19: The lessons of Measles.” Perri Klass and Adam Ratners, MDs. The New England Journal of Medicine. Published on Feb 18, 2021. Retrieved on March 02, 2021 from

  10. “First children’s COVID-19 vaccine trail open.” NIHR. Published on Feb 15, 2021. Retrieved on March 02, 2021 from

  11. “Johnson & Johnson has planned trials of its vaccine that will include infants.” Gina Kolata, NYT. Published on Feb 28, 2021. Retrieved on March 02, 2021 from

  12. “Maternal COVID antibodies cross placenta, detected in newborns.” Tara Haelle, Medscape. Published on Jan 29, 2021. Retrieved on March 02, 2021 from,SMFM)%202021%20Annual%20Pregnancy%20Meeting

  13. “What to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.” CDC. Updated on Feb 23, 2021. Retrieved on March 02, 2021 from

  14. “What to do if you get an allergic reaction after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.” CDC. Updated on Feb 25, 2021. Retrieved on March 02, 2021 from

  15. “Myths and facts about COVID-19 vaccines.” CDC. Updated on Feb 03, 2021. Retrieved on March 02, 2021 from