October 27, 2021
The CDC strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination including booster shots for people who:
- are pregnant,
- were recently pregnant (including those who are breastfeeding),
- are trying to become pregnant now, or
- might become pregnant in the future.
Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely than others to get seriously ill or go to the hospital from COVID-19. Pregnant people with COVID-19 are also more likely to have their baby too early (preterm birth) or have other adverse pregnancy outcomes.
The CDC’s recommendations align with other health experts, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
Recent data and the known severe risks of COVID-19 during pregnancy show that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks. Read about the latest CDC data for pregnant people.
Why should I get vaccinated if I’m pregnant?
You and your baby are at greater risk from having COVID-19 than you are from taking the vaccine.
Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to those who are not pregnant. If you also have other health issues, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, your risk can be even higher. Severe COVID-19 increases your risk for having your baby too early (preterm birth).
COVID-19 vaccines can prevent severe illness, death, and pregnancy complications related to COVID-19. Also, the antibodies you make from the vaccine may pass to your baby and offer some protection from COVID-19 for your newborn.
Talk with your doctor
Choosing to get the vaccine while you are pregnant is an important decision. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, discuss your options with your medical provider.
If you don't have a doctor, call 211 for help finding care. They can help you even if you don't have health insurance. You can also call the Health Department's Community Health Center at 503-988-5558 to enroll as a new patient.
Will the vaccine affect my ability to get pregnant in the future?
There is no evidence that the vaccines will affect your ability to get pregnant or have babies. Rumors that link COVID-19 vaccines to infertility are false.
The COVID-19 vaccines were not tested on breastfeeding people in the trial phases. However, health experts believe that the vaccines are safe for lactating people and babies who are breastfeeding.
The COVID-19 vaccines are non-replicating vaccines -- the virus cells in the vaccine can’t make more of themselves and can’t make you sick with COVID-19. Non-replicating vaccines have been shown to be safe for breastfeeding people and their babies.
Why should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I’m breastfeeding?
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine and booster shot can help keep you from getting COVID-19 and can help protect your baby. You can share disease fighting antibodies through breast milk with your newborn and help protect them.
You do not have to postpone or stop breastfeeding if you want to get a vaccine.
People who are pregnant or who have recently been pregnant may get a booster shot if they have completed their initial COVID-19 vaccine series. Talk to your doctor to see if a booster dose is right for you.
Vaccine pregnancy registry
Scientists are learning more about the vaccine as more people get it, including pregnant and breastfeeding people.
If you are pregnant and take a COVID-19 vaccine, consider joining the V-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry. This voluntary study is helping scientists study the effects of the vaccine on pregnant women. People who choose to enroll in the registry will be contacted several times throughout their pregnancy for health check-ins.
Coronavirus (COVID-19), Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding: A Message for Patients (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)