Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

COVID-19 vaccine does not affect fertility, immunization experts say

Black and white photo of a couple holding hands An Army couple holds hands while listening to a counselor explore reasons why the woman should or should not receive a COVID-19 vaccination while pregnant. Ultimately, those eligible for the immunizations must make their own choices about getting vaccinated while pregnant or choose to wait until after birth to get vaccinated. The same decision extends to people who are breastfeeding. (Photo by Army Sgt. Maricris C. McLane.)

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

You’re pregnant, or you’re breastfeeding. Should you get a COVID-19 vaccine?

That’s a question on the minds of many military frontline health care workers today. The short answer is that it’s an individual’s choice, and military health experts say the vaccine is well worth considering.

As the COVID-19 vaccines continue to be administered across military hospitals and smaller clinics and outposts under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, the advice from the military and a multitude of national maternal and fetal health professional associations is the same: For most pregnant people, getting the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible is the safest choice based on the science to date.

The COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines. These vaccines contain no live viruses that could directly infect a mother or baby.

“As of Jan. 21, more than 15,000 pregnant patients had received an mRNA vaccine,” said retired Navy Capt. (Dr.) Margaret Ryan, medical director, Defense Health Agency Immunization Division, Pacific Region Vaccine Safety Hub, San Diego. “The experiences of these pregnancies are being followed very closely, and no specific safety concerns have been reported so far.

“As COVID-19 vaccines were being developed, studies in the laboratory and animals showed no reproductive health problems,” Ryan added.

Pregnant people are entering clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines “literally now and going into March, so more data will be known soon,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser on COVID-19, told a Blue Star Families virtual town hall Feb. 4.

Of the 15,000 pregnant people who have received at least one of the 32 million vaccinations in the United States, “there have been no red flags of adverse events. Many who are pregnant are health care providers who said the risk of getting COVID-19 from their patients was worse than that from getting the vaccine,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

Said Ryan: “Although it is unclear how pregnancy may affect infection risk, some women who have been infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy have experienced serious illness or death. COVID-19 infection in pregnancy also seems to increase risk of preterm birth.”

As for those who do not want to take the vaccine, “we know there are significantly increased risks for pregnant people who contract COVID-19, e.g., they are three times more likely to be admitted to the ICU and need breathing support,” said Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) Monica Lutgendorf, division head Maternal Fetal Medicine, Naval Medical Center-San Diego (NMCSD), and chair, DHA Women and Infants Clinical Community. “People with comorbidities such as diabetes, Latinx, and Black people are also more at risk for COVID-19 and death. Therefore, it is often beneficial to get the vaccine, especially for pregnant or nursing individuals at increased risk of severe disease.”

Lutgendorf noted that although relative risks of COVID-19 are increased in pregnancy, this information should be provided in the context of overall low absolute risks for breathing support (2.9 per 1,000), heart and lung support (0.7 per 1,000), and death (1.5 per 1,000).

Ryan went on to say that specialists from the CDC, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and American Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine “all agree that breastfeeding should not be a barrier to receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine. Breastfeeding should never be equated to pregnancy in terms of health considerations for mother or child.”

You also may be interested in...

What is an EUA?

Video
4/28/2020
What is an EUA?

Emergency use authorizations (EUAs) are one of several tools the FDA is using to help make important medical products available quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic. But what exactly is an EUA?

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

MHS pharmacies adapt services amid COVID-19

Article
4/28/2020
A pharmacy technician stands at a car window delivering medications while wearing a mask and gloves.

Curbside, drive-thru, parking lobbies among solutions for prescription pickup

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

General’s visit punctuates engineering efforts converting arena to alternate care site

Article
4/27/2020
Image of a contractor and a soldier looking at a blueprint

The project cost $1.26 million and was completed in one week.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

MHS Minute - Military Medicine: On the Front Lines of COVID-19

Video
4/24/2020
The MHS Minute, Special Edition: COVID-19

Agencies across the federal government are partnering up to combat COVID-19. Find out how the Military Health System is doing its part to support the U.S. response to this pandemic, while ensuring our Service members remain ready.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Video Message from LTG Ronald J. Place, MD

Video
4/24/2020
DHA Seal

Thank you for continuing to do your part to help flatten the curve

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Medical lab workers ensure readiness and wellness behind the scenes

Article
4/24/2020
Image of woman in lab coat looking at samples in test tubes

This week, thank a medical laboratory professional

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

I Am Navy Medicine - Stopping the spread of COVID-19: Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Donald Cooney

Article
4/23/2020
Image of soldier wearing a mask in the hospital's chapel

Faith and a strong sense to serve his country has brought a Lebanon, Ore., native to the world of Navy Medicine.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Early Detection Support for Troops During COVID-19

Article
4/23/2020
Woman in lab wearing mask and testing samples

The network’s ability to integrate the priorities identified by the Combatant Commands into its mission creates an agile organization ready to respond to needs as they occur.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Coronavirus

MHS - Defending the Homeland: Proning made easy at Keesler Air Force Base

Article
4/22/2020
Image of a dummy laying face-down on a hospital bed

Departments work together on solution to ICU breathing problem

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Cybersecurity critical for DoD teleworkers during pandemic

Article
4/21/2020
Protect your information when you’re teleworking.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a high-volume of DoD network users teleworking. Everyone must balance the requirements of the military health care mission with that of protecting the network, computers and mobile devices.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Cybersecurity Awareness

DOD, VA launch Joint Health Information Exchange

Article
4/21/2020
Image of soldier putting away a paper file

Increased access leads to gains in patient care, outcomes

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Program Office | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Electronic Health Record Modernization & Interoperability

Modification and Reissuance of DoD Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 -Travel Restrictions

Publication
4/20/2020

All DoD Service members will stop movement, both internationally and domestically, while this memorandum is in effect. All DoD civilian personnel, and dependents of DoD Service members and DoD civilian personnel, whose travel is Government-funded will stop movement, both internationally and domestically, while this memorandum is in effect.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Chaplains virtually bolster resiliency in the midst of COVID-19

Article
4/20/2020
Image of a laptop on a table, with two chaplains on the laptop conducting a virtual service

The pandemic has charged the team to strengthen the bonds of interaction between itself and the community.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

AFMES missions continue through COVID-19

Article
4/17/2020
Two men sitting at a table going through sample bottles

AFMES is a resilient organization that is committed to accomplishing the mission during the global pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Coronavirus

Mobile app may offer hope in times of distress

Article
4/16/2020
Image of man holding cell phone

Virtual Hope Box is one mobile app solution that may help individuals cope

Recommended Content:

Connected Health | Coronavirus
<< < ... 41 42 43 44 45  ... > >> 
Showing results 616 - 630 Page 42 of 48

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.