Vaccines for Pregnant Women
Texas Children’s patients who have a MyChart account do not have to schedule through the link. Instead, a COVID-19 vaccine appointment reminder will be available in the “Health Maintenance” section of their account.
At this time, the Pfizer vaccine is approved for those 5 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for those 18 and older.
Pfizer and Moderna booster shots are available for individuals who are fully vaccinated and five months have passed since receiving a second dose.
Please see below for a list of frequently asked questions and resources. It’s important to note that information about COVID-19 changes rapidly and this page will be updated with the latest information as it becomes available.
Frequently Asked Questions for Pregnant Women
How can I receive the vaccine?
What should pregnant women consider when considering the COVID-19 vaccine?
Current observations available suggest no significant differences in post-vaccination reactions in pregnant versus non-pregnant women. It appears that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) induce similar immunity in pregnant and breastfeeding women as in the non-pregnant population. We do not have similar studies yet for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Although more research is needed, these studies show promising evidence of potential passive immunity against the COVID-19 virus in newborns, either through placental transfer or breastfeeding after the mother receives the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.
Can those who are pregnant receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
The decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccine should be made with your provider about not only the vaccines risks and benefits, but your risk of getting moderate or severe disease if you were to remain unvaccinated and get infected with the virus. Recently, the American College of Obstetrician Gynecologists (ACOG) also updated its practice advisory to aid patients in evaluating the benefits and potential risks of the vaccines.
Since the offering of COVID-19 vaccines began in the U.S., the CDC V-SAFE app has reported that as of April 5, 2021 nearly 78,000 pregnant women have received a COVID-19 vaccine. To date, no safety signals as compared to non-pregnant people have been reported.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility?
No. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live virus, so the American Society for Reproductive Medicine says the vaccine is not thought to cause an increased risk of infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth or birth defects.
Misleading information on social media suggests the vaccine could cause an immune response to a spike protein on the COVID-19 virus’ surface, and this immune response could also attack similar proteins that make up the placenta. This incorrect information leads people to think this decreases fertility in women. Experts say the coronavirus spike and placental protein have almost nothing in common, making the vaccine very unlikely to trigger a reaction. There is no evidence that mRNA vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, cause the body to produce proteins that attack the placenta.
Also, Moderna presented early study information that showed no poor effects in animals on female reproduction, fetal or embryonic development or postnatal development.
While it may be possible for men who have COVID-19 to experience worsening underlying cardiovascular conditions, which could increase the risk of erectile dysfunction, more research in this area is needed. Since the COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19, it cannot cause erectile dysfunction in males.
What if I am nursing? Can the virus be transmitted to my infant or toddler through the vaccine?
Because the vaccine does not contain a live virus, there is no virus to transmit with nursing.
Is there an increased miscarriage rate and/or risk?
This is unknown at this time. However, it is felt that the benefits to the vaccine outweigh any possible small and still theoretical risks. In the Pfizer trial, the only women suffering miscarriage were in the placebo group. However, the data is simply not robust enough to make any conclusions.