Pregnant women can be 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, especially in the third trimester.
Fertility and COVID-19 vaccination
The vaccination does not affect fertility in men or women. During pregnancy, vaccination has no impact on the formation of the placenta. This is evident from the research (known as toxicity studies) conducted by all vaccine manufacturers. The Dutch Society for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (NVOG) and RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment have indicated that COVID-19 vaccination is possible during IVF treatment.
Vaccination before pregnancy
People trying to become pregnant can be vaccinated as planned. In case of IVF treatment, you are advised to coordinate the timing with your treating physician.
Vaccination during pregnancy
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines. Based on research data and on how these vaccines work, there is no reason to assume that the use of these vaccines would be harmful during pregnancy. By now, we know than 90,000 pregnant women in the USA have been vaccinated with the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna. No serious side-effects have been reported in that group. For that reason, the recommendation is for all pregnant women to be vaccinated when they receive their invitation.
Sufficient safety data about the Janssen vaccine during pregnancy is not yet available. The AstraZeneca vaccine is used for people over 60 years old.
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)
- Information provided by the Dutch Government: Vaccinating against COVID-19 while pregnant or trying to become pregnant [Interview: Vaccinating against COVID-19 while pregnant or trying to become pregnant | Publication | Government.nl and Getting vaccinated against COVID-19: how does it work? [Getting vaccinated against COVID-19: how does it work? | A vaccine against COVID-19 | Government.nl]
- YouTube: Should you get vaccinated if you are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant? (in Dutch) [Should you get vaccinated if you are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant? | COVID-19 vaccination - YouTube]
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.
Time between COVID-19 vaccination and pertussis vaccination
The recommended interval between a COVID-19 vaccination and another vaccination, such as the maternal pertussis vaccination, is at least 14 days.
Time between COVID-19 vaccination and a rhesus injection (anti-D immunoglobulin)
The interval between these injections does not matter. They can also be given on the same day.
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.
Breastfeeding and vaccination
There are no indications the vaccine enters breast milk or reaches the child through breastfeeding.
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.