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Pregnancy, breastfeeding and the coronavirus vaccine

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. However, the vaccine has still to be assessed in pregnancy. Therefore, if you're pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should talk to your health professional before proceeding.

What you should know

Pregnant women and their unborn baby cannot catch coronavirus from the vaccines. However, at the moment, the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine isn’t routinely recommended if you're pregnant, as it hasn’t yet been tested on pregnant women. That said, you may want to consider getting the vaccine if:

  • your risk of exposure to coronavirus is high and cannot be avoided (for example, if you work in health or social care)
  • you have underlying conditions that place you at very high risk of serious complications of coronavirus.

In these circumstances, you should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with your obstetrician. Your midwife can refer you for a discussion with an obstetrician.

If you’re pregnant and not in these higher risk groups, you can be vaccinated following your pregnancy.

If you find out you're pregnant after you've had the first dose of the vaccine, you should wait until you’re no longer pregnant before having the second dose (unless you are a higher risk). 

Although the vaccine has not been tested in pregnancy, you may decide that the known risks from coronavirus are so clear that you wish to go ahead with vaccination. Talk to your obstetrician if this is the case.

Breastfeeding advice

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has recommended that the vaccine can be given to women who are breastfeeding.

At the moment there’s no data on the safety of coronavirus vaccines for breastfeeding women or their babies. However, the coronavirus vaccines are not thought to be a risk when breastfeeding. So if you are breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed, you can continue breastfeeding after vaccination.

The COVID-19 vaccine - Pregnancy leaflet has more information about the coronavirus vaccination programme if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Coronavirus and fertility

There’s no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility. You don’t need to avoid trying for a baby after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.

Coronavirus vaccination helpline

For more information about pregnancy, the coronavirus vaccine and its delivery, phone 0800 030 8013 (8.00am to 8.00pm, 7 days a week).

You can find out more about the vaccine at NHS Inform.