Are you an expectant mother wondering if you can get the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, but are worried about possible effects on your baby’s and your health? This article will help answer your questions related to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy.

A brief overview of the COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines protect us against a range of dangerous infectious diseases by activating our immune systems without actually causing illness.1 In the current battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, immunizing populations with safe and effective vaccines could be crucial to curb the spread of the virus.

There are three main types of COVID-19 vaccines:2

  • mRNA vaccines

  • Protein subunit vaccines

  • Vector vaccines

While there are differences between the way each of these vaccines are made and operate once inside the body, they all “teach” the immune system to recognize and fight the COVID-19 virus.2 In countries where vaccination programs are in effect, it is largely frontliners and vulnerable populations who are getting inoculated first. However, vaccination programs will eventually reach the rest of the population–including pregnant women.3

The COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy: Is it safe?

If you are a mom-to-be, you’re probably concerned about the safety of getting the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy.

For now, many governments around the world where vaccination programs are in effect – like Singapore, the Netherlands, and the UK – are advising pregnant women not to get vaccinated just yet.4, 5, 6 The reason for this is because there is limited data on the effect of the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy.

The good news is that clinical trials to study the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant women have commenced.7 And in earlier vaccination clinical trials around the world, some participants became pregnant during the study period, but did not report harmful side effects or reactions.8

Meanwhile, the consensus of global health organizations is that the vaccine should be safe for pregnant women. Specific to the Moderna vaccine (m-RNA-1273), WHO9 says that they “don’t have any specific reason to believe there will be specific risks that would outweigh the benefits of vaccination for pregnant women.” WHO recommends that pregnant women must consult their healthcare provider before getting vaccinated. In the USA, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists10 suggests that the vaccines should be offered to pregnant women who are eligible for vaccination.

Moms-to-be, if you too are considering getting the COVID-19 vaccination, remember to consult with your doctor first.

Myths and facts about the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy

You may have come across a lot of information related to the COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy. Let’s take a look at some of these claims and clarify them.

  • “The COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility”: This is not true. Lucy Chappell, professor in obstetrics at King's College London explains to the BBC that there is “no plausible biological mechanism” for the vaccine to affect fertility.11

  • “The vaccine makes your body attack your placenta”: Some rumors claim that the vaccine contains proteins like those found in the placenta, which causes the body to attack it. This is not true. While the vaccine does contain a protein that slightly resembles those in the placenta, it is not similar enough to trick the body into destroying the placenta. Professor Chappell explains that the two proteins slightly resembling each other means nothing and will not result in any harm.11

  • “There will be side effects of the vaccine for my developing baby, including COVID-19 infection”: The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain ingredients known to harm the fetus, nor can it infect your baby with the virus.8 In fact, recent research suggests that antibodies from a pregnant woman vaccinated against COVID-19 may cross her placenta, possibly providing her fetus with some levels of protection against the disease. The study has been posted as a preprint to MedRxv.12

How to make an informed decision about the COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy

Educate yourself about the vaccination by reading information from trusted sources. These include websites of your government and/or its Health Ministry.

Be sure to speak to your doctor about the pros and cons of getting the vaccination while pregnant. Remember to never make a medical decision on your own during pregnancy. Always speak to your healthcare provider first.


  1. “Why is vaccination so important?”. Norwegian Institute of Public Health, published Aug 2018. Retrieved on Feb 25, 2021 from,this%20simple%20and%20effective%20way.&text=A%20vaccine%20activates%20our%20immune%20system%20without%20making%20us%20sick.,-Many%20dangerous%20infectious

  2. “Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work”. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Jan 2021. Retrieved on Feb 25, 2021 from,genetic%20material%20from%20the%20vaccine

  3. “COVID-19 vaccines”. World Health Organization, published Feb 2021. Retrieved on Feb 25, 2021 from

  4. “What you should know about the COVID-19 vaccine”, published Dec 2021. Retrieved on Feb 25, 2021 from

  5. “Getting vaccinated against COVID-19”. Government of Netherlands, published Dec 2020. Retrieved on Feb 25, 2021 from

  6. “COVID-19 vaccination: A guide for women of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding”. Public Health England, published Jan 2021. Retrieved on Feb 25, 2021 from,you%20are%20at%20high%20risk

  7. “Pfizer Starts COVID Vaccine Trials in Pregnant Women”. WebMY, published Feb 2021. Retrieved on Feb 25, 2021 from

  8. “COVID-19 Vaccine & Pregnancy”. North Dakota State Government, published Dec 2020. Retrieved on Feb 25, 2021 from

  9. “The Moderna COVID-19 (mRNA-1273) vaccine: what you need to know.”WHO, published on Jan 26 2021. Retrieved on Jan 26, 2021 from

  10. “Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients Against COVID-19.” ACOG, published Dec 2021, last updated Feb 4, 2021. Retrieved on Feb 26, 2021 from

  11. “Covid: Claims vaccinations harm fertility unfounded”. BBC, published Feb 2021. Retrieved on Feb 25, 2021 from

  12. “Newborn Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 detected in cord blood after maternal vaccination”.Paul Gilbert MD, Chad Rudnick MD, Posted Feb 5 2021. Retrieved on Feb 26, 2021 from