COVID vaccine when pregnant, planning a family or breastfeeding

There is misinformation circulating regarding having the COVID-19 vaccine when pregnant or breastfeeding and the impact it may have on fertility.
What you have read and heard may make you anxious about the effect the vaccine may have your ability to have a family or grow your family in the future.

Government advice

  • There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have any effect on fertility or your chances of becoming pregnant.
  • COVID-19 vaccines offer pregnant women the best protection against COVID-19 disease which can be serious in later pregnancy for some women.
  • The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has recommended that the vaccines can be received whilst breastfeeding. The vaccine does not pass through to breast milk.

It is important for everyone to receive the vaccine when their time comes to prevent them from becoming seriously ill. It is no different in pregnancy and the COVID-19 virus can make women very unwell in the later stages of pregnancy.

The government advises that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are preferrable for pregnant women and people aged under 40.

Worried about having the COVID vaccine?

If you’ve delayed having your vaccine because you’ve have been worried about the impact of the COVID-19 vaccine on the ability to start a family, pregnancy or breastfeed, the next steps may also provide reassurance.

  • When you book online the National Booking Service automatically offers appointments with the appropriate vaccines for people aged under 40.
  • Women aged over 40 are asked whether they are pregnant so that they can also be offered appropriate appointments.
  • Pregnant women can discuss the benefits and potential risks at their appointment.
  • You can also speak to a GP or your maternity team for advice.

Government advice on pregnancy, fertility and breastfeeding says that anyone who has already started vaccination and is offered a second dose whilst pregnant, should have a second dose with the same vaccine unless they had a serious side effect after the first dose.

Information and advice

There’s a video with more information available on YouTube from Victoria Male. Victoria is a fellow and lecturer in reproductive immunology at Imperial College London.

A guide for women of childbearing age, those currently pregnant or breastfeeding has been published by Public Health England.

You can listen to children’s nanny Joanna who is 24 weeks pregnant and took advice during her vaccine appointment and listen to Danielle who is getting married later this year and plans to start at family.

Google Translate

Text Size

Change font

Contrast