Your Covid-19 questions answered

Can I take the Covid-19 vaccine if I am pregnant?

16 July 2021 - 07:00
By kyle zeeman AND Kyle Zeeman
Should you be taking the Covid-19 vaccine while pregnant?
Image: 123RF / Prometeus Should you be taking the Covid-19 vaccine while pregnant?

Pregnancy can be a wonderful and sometimes confusing time. Coupled with a pandemic, it can be difficult to know whether taking the Covid-19 vaccine is safe for you and your baby.

According to the ministerial advisory committee (MAC) on Covid-19 vaccines, the Pfizer and J&J vaccines should be offered to all pregnant women based on their risk.

“Pregnant women with comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension in pregnancy should be prioritised for vaccination and can be offered a vaccine if they have a comorbidity that is in a priority group for vaccination,” the committee said.

Healthcare workers are encouraged to discuss the risks and benefits of the Covid-19 vaccination with pregnant patients, including the most recent studies showing the vaccine is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding woman.

Studies have also found a strong immune response from mothers after vaccination, and several benefits of immune transfer to the infant or unborn child.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said pregnant women are more susceptible to severe illness from Covid-19 and encouraged them to get vaccinated.

“Though the overall risk of severe illness is low, pregnant and recently pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from Covid-19 when compared with non-pregnant people. Severe illness includes illness that requires hospitalisation, intensive care, or a ventilator or special equipment to breathe, or illness that results in death.

“Additionally, pregnant people with Covid-19 are at increased risk of preterm birth and might be at increased risk of other adverse pregnancy outcomes compared with pregnant women without Covid-19.”

And if I am planning to become pregnant?

The MAC encourages young women who are planning to fall pregnant to get the vaccine.

“We know pregnant women are at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease and of preterm delivery, and for this reason it is good to be protected against Covid-19 before becoming pregnant,” it said.