Pregnant women are advised to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna. That applies to all pregnant women: those who have underlying health conditions (such as diabetes, heart disease or respiratory conditions) as well as healthy pregnant women. During pregnancy, there is a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and developing complications. Vaccination is safe and effective, even during pregnancy.
Fertility and COVID-19 vaccination
The vaccination does not affect fertility in men or women. During pregnancy, vaccination has no impact on the development of the placenta. This is evident from the toxicity studies conducted by all vaccine manufacturers. The Dutch Society for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (NVOG) and RIVM have indicated that COVID-19 vaccination is possible during IVF treatment.
Vaccination before pregnancy
People trying to become pregnant can be vaccinated as planned. Vaccine-induced protection is very important if you do become pregnant. COVID-19 vaccination is also safe and sensible for women who are currently receiving IVF treatment, as confirmed by the Dutch Society for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (NVOG) and by RIVM.
Vaccination during pregnancy
Pregnant women have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. Complications may occur and they may need to be admitted to hospital. This has consequences for both mother and child. That is why it is important to get vaccinated if you are pregnant.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines. Based on research data and on how these vaccines work, it is safe to get these vaccines during pregnancy.
No reports of unusual side-effects in pregnant women have been registered by Lareb, the pharmacovigilance centre that tracks side-effects in the Netherlands. This is in line with data on side-effects reported in other countries.
Sufficient safety data about the Janssen vaccine during pregnancy is not yet available. The AstraZeneca vaccine was used for people over 60 years old; this vaccine is currently no longer in use in the Netherlands.
More information about COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy:
- The position statement posted by the Dutch Society for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (NVOG): Vaccination against COVID-19 in the context of pregnancy (in Dutch)
- Watch the NVOG live stream on pregnancy and vaccination against COVID-19 (in Dutch)
- Information provided by the Dutch Government:
- Information provided by the European Medicines Agency: COVID-19: Latest safety data provide reassurance about use of mRNA vaccines during pregnancy | EMA
I am pregnant. Should I get a booster vaccination now?
If you are pregnant, you can still get a COVID-19 booster vaccination when you are invited to do so. As a pregnant woman, you do have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. This can have consequences for mother and child. The mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) have been found to be safe for pregnant women. The Dutch Society for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (NVOG) also recommends a booster vaccination for pregnant women in its position statement on COVID-19 vaccination in the context of pregnancy. The booster vaccination can be given at any time during pregnancy. This also applies to the repeat vaccination against COVID-19 (second booster) which is advised for adults with severely impaired immunity.
Women who are vaccinated during pregnancy can take part in Mothers of Tomorrow. Mothers of Tomorrow (Moeders van Morgen, part of the Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb) conducts research on the safety of vaccinations and medicines during pregnancy. You can sign up to take part via www.moedersvanmorgen.nl.
Which trimester is recommended for vaccination during pregnancy?
Vaccinations can be given throughout the pregnancy. There are no indications that vaccination during the first 12 weeks will lead to complications. Would you rather not be vaccinated during the first 12 weeks? Then schedule your vaccination after that. You should preferably not wait until the end of your pregnancy. If you are infected towards the end of your pregnancy, you have an increased risk of complications from COVID-19.
If I have already had one vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine, will my second vaccination also be AstraZeneca?
No. Pregnant women should preferably be vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. We advise not giving an AstraZeneca vaccination to women who are pregnant. More information about a first vaccination with AstraZeneca followed by a second vaccination with Pfizer is available on the page: Questions and Answers about vaccination with AstraZeneca.
Vaccination during breastfeeding
People who are breastfeeding can also be vaccinated. There are no indications that the vaccine enters the breast milk.
Protection for the baby after the mother is vaccinated
Newborn infants are protected from infectious diseases by the antibodies they receive from their mothers through the placenta. These antibodies disappear slowly in the months after birth. We do not yet know if this also applies to antibodies after COVID-19 vaccination, but it does seem likely.
Birth control pills and other contraceptives
Vaccines have no effect on the efficacy of birth control pills or any other contraceptives. Conversely, the pill or other contraceptives do not affect how well the vaccine works.