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COVID-19 Vaccine: For pregnant and breastfeeding patients

January 6, 2021

We know you have questions about the new COVID-19 vaccine and whether or not pregnant and breastfeeding people should receive them. The short answer is that yes, in most cases the benefits of being vaccinated likely outweigh any risk. As with any medical decision we want our patients to discuss these decisions with their providers and make informed choices based on your individual healthcare needs.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology makes the following recommendations:
  • ACOG recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination based on Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)-recommended priority groups.
  • COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to lactating individuals similar to non-lactating individuals when they meet criteria for receipt of the vaccine based on prioritization groups outlined by the ACIP.
  • Individuals considering a COVID-19 vaccine should have access to available information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, including information about data that are not available. A conversation between the patient and their clinical team may assist with decisions regarding the use of vaccines approved under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the prevention of COVID-19 by pregnant patients.

You can read the full guidelines from ACOG here.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment makes the following recommendations for lactating patients:
“Based on what is known about how mRNA vaccines work, the COVID-19 vaccines are not believed to be a risk to breastfeeding individuals or babies. It is important to continue breastfeeding. Currently there are no data on the safety of authorized COVID-19 vaccines for breastfeeding individuals, as they were not included in initial clinical trials. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine ​recommends that lactating individuals who get the vaccine continue breastfeeding their babies after being vaccinated​. Breast milk contains antibodies and other components that can boost babies’ immune systems and protect babies from getting sick. Early research has shown COVID-19 antibodies are present in breast milk.

It is believed that antibodies created after a breastfeeding individual receives the vaccine may also transfer into breast milk and could provide some protection to the baby. Breastfeeding individuals who are healthcare workers, or part of other groups recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, may choose to be vaccinated. The American College ofObstetricians and Gynecologists ​recommends that COVID-19 vaccines be offered to lactating individuals​ similarly to non-lactating individuals when it is their turn in the phased distribution plan of the vaccine.”

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