FAQs: COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy, planning a family, and breastfeeding
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Vaccination is the best way to reduce your risk of becoming seriously unwell with COVID-19.
Research from around the world has shown mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, such as Pfizer and Moderna, are safe and effective if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a family.
For more information, read the Frequently asked questions: COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy, planning a family, and breastfeeding (PDF 212KB).
Those who are pregnant and their unborn baby have a significantly higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 than non-pregnant people:
If you are pregnant, you should discuss your COVID-19 vaccination with your health professional.
It is safe for you to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you are pregnant.
The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommend that all pregnant women are offered mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, such as Pfizer and Moderna at any stage of pregnancy.
Published research and real-world evidence from other countries has shown that mRNA vaccines are safe for pregnant women. 200,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated in the USA and UK, with no adverse effects on the person, pregnancy or baby.
Research shows that the antibodies produced by vaccination cross the placenta and may provide some protection to newborn babies. This is the same for whooping cough and flu vaccines that have been given during pregnancy for many years.
There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have any impact on fertility.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will not approve a vaccine for use in Australia unless it is safe and effective, including impacts on fertility.
If you are planning a pregnancy, you can safely receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna. You do not need to avoid becoming pregnant before or after vaccination.
Getting vaccinated before conceiving will give you some protection against COVID-19 throughout your pregnancy, depending on when you were vaccinated.
You are not required to have a pregnancy test before getting vaccinated.
If you received your first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and then become pregnant, you can safely receive the Pfizer or Moderna (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccines for your second dose.
mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, such as Pfizer and Moderna, are the preferred vaccine for pregnancy.
The recommended interval between the first dose of AstraZeneca and the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna is 4 to 12 weeks.
While it is generally recommended that the same vaccine is used for both doses, the reason for a preference for Pfizer or Moderna during pregnancy is due to more information regarding safety of Pfizer and Moderna for pregnant women compared with AstraZeneca.
You and your provider may wish to consider the following factors:
If you are breastfeeding, you can receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna, at any time. You do not need to stop breastfeeding before or after vaccination.
Several small studies have shown that the antibodies induced by the COVID-19 vaccine pass into breastmilk. This may provide your baby with some protection against COVID-19, however, there have not yet been any studies to confirm such protection.
If you are pregnant, you should discuss your COVID-19 vaccination with your health professional before booking your vaccination appointment.
To book for your first and second dose, visit our booking your appointment page.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccines, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website, which also has a range of translated information.
Australian Government Department of Health