5 Reasons to Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Shot Before, During and After Pregnancy
At NYC Health + Hospitals, you and your baby’s health and safety are our priority.
That’s why we encourage any New Yorker who is pregnant, breastfeeding or wanting to become pregnant to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Getting vaccinated is the best way for pregnant people to prevent severe illness and protect their baby.
People who are pregnant or were recently pregnant are more likely to become very sick from COVID-19 than people who are not pregnant or were not recently pregnant. This may include hospitalization, intensive care, or needing a ventilator.
Dr. Wendy Wilcox, Chief Women’s Health Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals
Dr. Wendy Wilcox, Chief Women’s Health Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals, strongly recommends that all people who are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant get vaccinated against COVID-19. Claims linking COVID-19 vaccines to fertility problems are unfounded and have no evidence supporting them, she said.
“The CDC says it is safe for people who want to become pregnant to get a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Wilcox, “Getting vaccinated helps your immune system protect you, your baby and your family—it can’t and won’t harm you or your baby. Getting vaccinated can help to ensure you have a safe and healthy pregnancy.”
Here are five reasons to get vaccinated and boosted before, during and after pregnancy.
- Protect Yourself, Your Baby and Your Family
Getting vaccinated reduces your risk of getting COVID-19 and spreading it to others, including your baby. It is important for anyone around your baby to be fully vaccinated. Your baby has a new immune system and is vulnerable to COVID-19. Making sure your loved ones are vaccinated helps protect your baby’s health and reduces the chance of infection.
- Pregnant or Breastfeeding People Are at Higher Risk for Becoming Very Sick with COVID-19
Pregnant or breastfeeding people who have COVID-19 may have trouble breathing or chest pain that requires hospital or intensive care. People who are pregnant and have COVID-19 are also at increased risk for preterm birth (delivering the baby before 37 weeks) and possibly other negative pregnancy outcomes.
- COVID-19 Vaccines Are Proven to Be Safe and Effective
The CDC, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) strongly recommend that all people who are pregnant or breastfeeding get vaccinated against COVID-19. People who get the vaccine do not have a higher risk of miscarriage than those who don’t get the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine cannot change the DNA of you or your baby and there are no reports of birth defects among the thousands of women who received the COVID-19 vaccine before or during pregnancy.
- Vaccinated People Who are Breastfeeding Develop Antibodies Against COVID-19
Recent studies of people who are pregnant and got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines found antibodies in their babies’ cord blood and pregnant people’s breast milk. Your breastfed baby will get these antibodies and have some protection from COVID-19.
- COVID-19 Vaccines Have No Effect on Fertility
There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine affects fertility or causes fertility problems in women or men. The antibodies that you develop after getting the COVID-19 vaccine will fight off the virus that causes COVID-19 but will not affect your reproductive organs or fertility.