Here’s what pregnant women should know about the J&J COVID

Safety and Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy

There is growing evidence that vaccinating against COVID-19 before and during pregnancy is beneficial to both the mother and the fetus. Pregnancy-related vaccination risks are outweighed by the advantages of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Below is a brief summary of the growing evidence:

  • COVID-19 vaccines do not cause COVID-19, including in people who are pregnant or their babies. None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain live virus. They cannot make anyone sick with COVID-19, including people who are pregnant or their babies. Learn more about how vaccines work.
  • Data on the safety of receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech), before and during pregnancy are reassuring.
    • People who received the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine late in pregnancy or their babies have not shown any safety concerns according to data from vaccine safety monitoring systems. 1-6.
    • Pregnant women who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine just before or during early pregnancy (before 20 weeks of pregnancy) did not have an increased risk of miscarriage, according to researchers. 2-4,7.
    • An mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy was not linked to an increased risk for pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth, stillbirth, bacterial placenta infection, or excessive maternal blood loss after delivery, according to data from American, European, and Canadian studies. 4,7-9.
    • According to research from Chicago, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine before and during the first trimester of pregnancy is not linked to an increased risk of birth defects that can be seen on prenatal ultrasounds. 10.
    • The effect of the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy is being continuously monitored. To better understand any effects of the vaccine on pregnancies and babies, the CDC will continue to monitor people who received the vaccination throughout all trimesters of pregnancy.
  • Data show that receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy reduces the risk of severe illness and other health effects from COVID-19 for people who are pregnant. Recent studies compared people who were pregnant and received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine with pregnant people who did not. Scientists found that COVID-19 vaccination was effective at reducing the risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.9-15 One study that looked at people who were hospitalized during pregnancy found that most were not vaccinated.16 Other studies have shown that by reducing the risk of severe illness in pregnant people, COVID-19 vaccination might also help prevent stillbirths.17
  • Vaccination during pregnancy builds antibodies that can help protect the baby. Much like people who are not pregnant, when people who are pregnant receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, their bodies build antibodies against COVID-19. Antibodies made after pregnant people received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine have been found in their baby’s umbilical cord blood. This means COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy can help protect babies against COVID-19 by passing antibodies from the mother to her baby. More data are needed to determine how these antibodies may provide protection to the baby.17-19
    • A recent small study found that at 6 months old, the majority (57%) of infants born to pregnant people who were vaccinated during pregnancy had detectable antibodies against COVID-19, compared with 8% of infants born to pregnant people who had COVID-19 illness during pregnancy 20.
    • According to recent research, completing a two-dose primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series during pregnancy can help shield infants under the age of six months from COVID-19-related hospitalization. According to these reports, the majority of infants with COVID-19 who were hospitalized were born to pregnant women who had not received a prenatal vaccination. 21, 22.
    • According to a different study, receiving a booster dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant significantly raised the levels of antibodies discovered in umbilical cord blood. Thus, obtaining a COVID-19 booster while pregnant can help further protect unborn children from COVID-19. 24.
  • No safety concerns were found in animal studies. Studies in animals receiving a COVID-19 vaccine before or during pregnancy found no safety concerns in pregnant animals or their babies.
  • Additional clinical trials examining the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women are currently being conducted or are planned. Manufacturers of vaccines are also gathering and reviewing information from participants in finished clinical trials who received a vaccine and got pregnant while participating in the trial.

    With the help of the CDC’s v-safe After Vaccination Health Checker, a free smartphone app, you can quickly and easily tell the CDC how you or a dependent feels after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine by sending quick and private health check-ins via text messages and online surveys.

    The CDC’s v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry staff* may get in touch with you if you sign up for v-safe and disclose that you are pregnant at the time of vaccination or after vaccination. Please contact your healthcare provider if you experience any symptoms or health issues following a COVID-19 vaccination.

    *Abt Associates has been contract by CDC to contact participants of CDC’s v-safe COVID-19 Vaccines Pregnancy Registry.

    Talk to Your Healthcare Provider

    If you are expecting, discuss COVID-19 vaccination with your healthcare provider. Although having such a discussion prior to vaccination may be beneficial, it is not necessary. A COVID-19 vaccination, including a booster shot, can be obtained without further authorization from your doctor.

    Q: Is it better to get vaccinated during a certain stage of pregnancy?

    A: No—you can get vaccinated during any stage of pregnancy. Pregnancy vaccination enables you to pass on protective COVID-19 antibodies to the fetus.

    Should people who are pregnant and/or lactating receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

    Yes. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), and the CDC all recommend that all women who are pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Johns Hopkins Medicine concurs and wholeheartedly supports these recommendations.

    Pregnant women are listed by the CDC as one of the groups at high risk for developing a severe COVID-19 illness. The pregnant woman, the care partner(s), and the medical professional(s) should all agree on the decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

    Is Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine safe for pregnant women?

    Leave a Comment