COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all women, including those pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant, or who might become pregnant in the future

By August 31, 2021 No Comments

With increases in COVID-19 infections and variants being reported in Orange County and throughout the country, protecting yourself and your baby from COVID-19 is more important than ever.

Increased Risk for Severe Illness

Studies have shown that pregnant and recently pregnant women (for at least 42 days following end of pregnancy) are at increased risk for severe illness compared with nonpregnant women. Although the overall risk for severe illness from COVID-19 is low in general, pregnant or recently pregnant women are more likely to have complications such as hospitalization, going into labor and delivering the baby early (before 37 weeks of pregnancy), needing intensive care or breathing support with a machine (ventilator), and/or death.

Certain other underlying medical conditions or factors can further increase a pregnant or recently pregnant woman’s risk for developing severe COVID-19 illness. These include:

  • Having certain underlying medical conditions
  • Being older than 25 years
  • Living or working in a community with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, including Orange County
  • Living or working in a community with low levels of COVID-19 vaccination
  • Working in places where it is difficult or not possible to keep at least 6 feet apart from people who might be sick

Protecting Yourself and Your Baby – Getting Vaccinated

Fortunately, we have effective vaccines to protect against COVID-19 and we now have data about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reviewed evidence from more than 35,000 women who were vaccinated during pregnancy and did not find any obvious safety concerns. COVID-19 vaccines do NOT and CANNOT cause infection, and cannot make anyone sick with COVID-19 since they do NOT contain live virus.  There is NO evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.

In addition to protecting moms and potentially preventing the complications of severe infection, COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy may also provide your newborn baby some protection through antibodies passed in the womb.

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant, or might become pregnant in the future.

Even if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should continue to wear a mask indoors in public places while community transmission of COVID-19 is high.

Protecting Yourself and Your Baby – Other Steps You Can Take to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

In addition to getting vaccinated against COVID-19, there are other steps you can take to protect yourself and others from getting COVID-19:

  • Stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Limit in-person interactions with people who might have been exposed to COVID-19, including people within your household, as much as possible. If you or someone in your household is sick with COVID-19, follow guidance for isolation.

Other Information to Help You Stay Healthy

It is important that you and your family keep all your recommended appointments with your health care provider and stay up-to-date on all recommended vaccines. If you’re concerned about going to your appointments in person because of COVID-19, ask your health care professional what steps they are taking to protect patients from COVID-19, or ask about telemedicine options.

For more information: