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Q: Should I get the COVID vaccine while pregnant? Is it safe?

The CDC recommends that people who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should get vaccinated for COVID-19.

There are several reasons why getting vaccinated can help people who are pregnant. First and foremost, pregnancy can increase the risk of getting COVID-19, and it can also increase the risk of severe disease. That means you are more likely to be hospitalized with COVID if you are pregnant.

Getting COVID while you are pregnant also increases the risk of maternal and fetal complications, like preterm labor.

It is not possible for your fetus to be exposed to COVID-19 from the vaccine. That is because the vaccine does not use any live virus and cannot cause a COVID infection.

You should know that because the COVID vaccines were approved for emergency use, early trials did not include pregnant people. However, everything we know about the vaccines indicates they are safe – Thousands of pregnant women have been vaccinated and there have been no reported safety concerns. None of the ingredients in them are harmful during pregnancy and early results from recent safety research studies indicate that the vaccine is as safe in pregnant women as it is in others.

The bottom line is that COVID-19 is extremely dangerous for both pregnant women and their unborn babies. Getting vaccinated can significantly reduce that risk.

Michael J. Shea , MD

Critical Care Medicine

Maui Memorial Medical Center
221 Mahalani Street
Wailuku, HI 96793