Coronavirus

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Do You Need A Covid-19 Booster Shot During Pregnancy?

Experts weigh in to determine if the currently eligible populations include pregnant people.

Government health agencies and leading doctors have repeatedly recommended that pregnant people receive a Covid-19 vaccination. Studies show vaccines are safe and effective during pregnancy, when people are at an elevated risk for severe Covid complications. (Plus, your body produces crucial antibodies that are passed on to your baby.) But now soon-to-be-parents who’ve already received their Covid-19 vaccines are faced with another decision: If you’re pregnant, do you need a Covid-19 booster shot? The short answer is yes. Here’s why, and how you can learn more.

If You Are Pregnant, Are You Eligible For A Covid-19 Booster?

As of now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ruled that booster injections of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be obtained for eligible groups, which include those 65 and older, and those 18 and older who have “underlying medical conditions,” among others. Within the interim guidelines, pregnancy is now included as an underlying medical condition, says Dr. Jeanne S. Sheffield, Professor and Director, Maternal Fetal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Likewise, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommended that expecting persons should get a booster dose six months after their first round of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine shots.

If You’re Pregnant, But Didn’t Get A Pfizer Vaccine, Can You Get A Booster Shot?

Currently the CDC recommendations around boosters only apply to people who previously got Pfizer-BioNTech vaccinations. And their eligibility begins six months after the second (initial) shot. Sheffield tells Romper that there should be news soon regarding Moderna booster shots.

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Is It OK To Hold Off On Getting A Covid-19 Booster If You’re Pregnant?

These are personal choices each person has to make. Bringing your questions and concerns to a trusted doctor or midwife can help ease nerves surrounding this very serious issue. “I’m a big believer in talking to your healthcare provider,” Sheffield tells Romper. That said, Sheffield also points out that you can access the booster shot locally whenever you’re ready. The decisions are personal, but the science is clear — and here to help.

Expert:

Jeanne S. Sheffield, Professor and Director, Maternal Fetal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine