All your questions on covid vaccine and pregnancy answered

A pregnant woman is always concerned about her health and the health of her unborn baby. With the Covid pandemic and the strain it has on pregnant women, there is a constant search for answers and methods of prevention. Is Covid vaccination safe during pregnancy? When is the right time to take the vaccine? What are its side effects? Keep reading to know the answers.

Cherifa Sharaf
Published on:Mar 28th 2022 |Updated on:May 10th 2024
 تطعيم فيروس كورونا

Does the covid vaccine affect the attempts to conceive?

It is important to start by mentioning that all vaccines for different viruses are safe before and during pregnancy, as long as they do not contain a live virus. And fortunately, none of the WHO authorized covid vaccines to contain any live virus.

Covid vaccines can be taken at any time during the period when a couple is trying to conceive. There are no restrictions on the gap of time between being vaccinated against the coronavirus and getting pregnant. Studies have shown that none of the authorized vaccines have any effect on women's attempts to conceive. I advise all women to adhere to the vaccination schedules of all the vaccine doses including the booster, and to get vaccinated any time before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and also while breastfeeding.

Covid vaccine and pregnancy

In a CDC study that surveyed 55 thousand pregnant women, the vaccine has proven to be safe during different stages of pregnancy, during the pre-pregnancy stage, and during breastfeeding as well. The same results were provided by several other studies. The research continues, and the studies do not stop and until now there hasn't been any evidence that the vaccine is harmful in any way.

It is worth mentioning that the research studies the vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization. There is however more preference given to the mRNA vaccines to be given to pregnant women rather than the vector carrier vaccines. Because the latter has shown risks of blood clotting in women in general, not just the pregnant ones. The vector carrier vaccines can be administered to pregnant women in cases where they have an allergic reaction to the first dose of the mRNA vaccines, or in countries where there are no other vaccines available. The vector carrier vaccines have been thoroughly investigated and have proven to be safe as well during pregnancies. In addition to these two types, the coronavirus vaccine containing the deadly virus is also safe during pregnancy.

Benefits of the coronavirus vaccine during pregnancy

1- Reducing the possibility of severe illness

Studies have shown that when a pregnant woman is vaccinated, there is a smaller chance of being severely sick if she contracts the virus. Pregnant women are more susceptible to severe illness due to COVID-19, and to hospitalization, needing a ventilator, and God forbids even death.

2- Protecting the baby

Antibodies developed thanks to the vaccine, have been found in the umbilical cord, which proves that they can be passed to the fetus from the mother, thus protecting from the virus.

Covid 19 vaccine side effects on pregnant women

Vaccines' side effects differ from one person to another. There isn't any proof that the vaccines have additional or different side effects on pregnant women than what everybody else experiences. Some common vaccines side effects are:

- Pain in the arm where the needle was used.

- Slight fever.

- Headache.

- Tiredness.

Misconceptions about the covid vaccine

Since the coronavirus vaccines became available. It has been said that vaccines cause infertility, miscarriage, early labor, and many other things. The fact is we can’t conclude vaccines from individual cases, a scientific and medical finding can be only made through studies that have surveyed tens of thousands of vaccinated people and studied the effects they experienced post-vaccination and then compare it to the findings of surveying non-vaccinated individuals to come out with final and confirmed discoveries.

It is worth mentioning that even before the covid vaccine existed the percentage of miscarriages is high; one in five pregnant women will have a miscarriage due to one reason or another. So, when a pregnant woman has a miscarriage after being vaccinated against covid, this doesn’t mean the miscarriage happened because of the vaccine, it only means that this loss was inevitable and only coincided with the timing of the vaccine. Studies that compared the miscarriage percentage in vaccinated and non-vaccinated women, found that the percentage stayed the same in both groups.

Enough time has passed, and many studies have been made to prove that all the negativity surrounding vaccines and pregnancy is a mere misconception. Vaccines are not a new method of prevention; it is a medically approved and scientifically backed method to prevent viruses and end them. We all received different vaccines in our childhood, and we were not affected negatively, we only got protected against several diseases.

We can’t deal with the covid vaccines as if they were whipped in a hurry or if they appeared out of the blue. Ever since the immerging of the SARS virus in 2003, which is the ancestor of Covid 19, research and studies didn’t stop studying this virus and attempting to produce a vaccine. This is why scientists had enough information, and due to the developments in the pharmaceutical industry, the mass production of the vaccines was possible within a few months of the covid 19 pandemic. Such development in scientific research and pharmaceutical production is something worth our gratitude and not our skepticism, as it gave us a solution in a record time.

Also, read Introducing Omooma: Empowering women through knowledge


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Cherifa SharafObstetrics & Gynecology Consultant

Consultant of obstetrics, gynecology & Infertility, with years of experience in women’s healthcare. Dr.Cherifa is practicing at Qasr El Eyni Hospital/ Cairo University in addition to several other hospitals and centers in Cairo Egypt. She holds a Ph.D. in medicine from Cairo University in addition to the European Diploma of Operative Gynecology from Clermont-Ferrand, France, and Diploma of Management of Infertility from Antoine Béclère Faculty of Medicine Paris, France. Dr. Cherifa is very passionate about providing the appropriate health care to women and believes the overall health of a woman is key to her reproductive and maternal health. She is a strong believer in the importance of raising women’s awareness and educating them about everything related to health in general and reproductive health in particular.

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