On May 11, 2021, the New York State Department of Health released guidance regarding the COVID-19 vaccination for people who are pregnant, lactating, or planning to become pregnant. Below please find some frequently asked questions and answers based on that guidance:
Q. Is it true that some of the COVID-19 vaccines can impact a person’s fertility?
A: There is no evidence that any of the COVID-19 vaccines impact fertility. If someone is trying to get pregnant now or wants to become pregnant in the future, they may receive a COVID-19 vaccine. There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems.
Q: Are pregnant people required to consult a doctor before getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Pregnant people are encouraged to talk with their health care provider before getting vaccinated to discuss any concerns and the risk of COVID-19 infection for pregnant people. However, pregnant people are not required to talk to a health care provider if they do not wish to, and pregnant people are not required to provide a doctor’s note in order to get vaccinated.
Q: Do pregnant people have to provide written proof of physician approval to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
A: No. Pregnant people do not need to provide a doctor’s note or any other documentation in order to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Staff at the vaccination site will inform the pregnant person they may consult with a healthcare provider if they wish, but they should not delay vaccination if the pregnant person requests vaccination and is otherwise eligible.
Q: Are the various COVID-19 vaccines safe for pregnant people?
A: There are currently three different COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use under an FDA EUA. Current data on the impact of these vaccines on pregnant people is limited; however, experts believe the vaccines are unlikely to pose a specific risk to people who are pregnant. Studies in animals receiving a Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine before or during pregnancy found no safety concerns. Based on ongoing monitoring and follow up with pregnant people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, there has been no increase in rates of miscarriage or adverse pregnancy effects in pregnant people who received the COVID-19 vaccine. Studies on the impact of COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy outcomes are continuing and findings will be updated as more information becomes available.
Q: Is one COVID-19 vaccine better for pregnant people than another?
A: There is no data to show that outcomes or safety for pregnant people vary depending on which COVID-19 vaccine they receive.
Q: Have any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines been tested on pregnant people?
A: None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for Emergency Use were tested on pregnant people. However, the CDC & FDA have safety monitoring systems in place to gather information about vaccination during pregnancy and will continue to closely monitor the situation. Most of the pregnancies that are currently being tracked are ongoing so the CDC will continue to follow pregnancies long-term to fully understand the effects on pregnancy and infants.
For additional information please visit the CDC website for Covid-19 and Pregnant People.