Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccines and Pregnancy: What Obstetricians Need to Know

Obstet Gynecol. 2021 Mar 1;137(3):408-414. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004290.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines have begun to be distributed across the United States and to be offered initially to priority groups including health care personnel and persons living in long-term care facilities. Guidance regarding whether pregnant persons should receive a COVID-19 vaccine is needed. Because pregnant persons were excluded from the initial phase 3 clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines, limited data are available on their efficacy and safety during pregnancy. After developmental and reproductive toxicology studies are completed, some companies are expected to conduct clinical trials in pregnant persons. Until then, pregnant persons and their obstetricians will need to use available data to weigh the benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccines. Issues to be considered when counseling pregnant persons include data from animal studies and inadvertently exposed pregnancies during vaccine clinical trials when available, potential risks to pregnancy of vaccine reactogenicity, timing of vaccination during pregnancy, evidence for safety of other vaccines during pregnancy, risk of COVID-19 complications due to pregnancy and the pregnant person's underlying conditions, and risk of exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and potential for risk mitigation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine have each issued guidance supportive of offering COVID-19 vaccine to pregnant persons. As additional information from clinical trials and from data collected on vaccinated pregnant persons becomes available, it will be critical for obstetricians to keep up to date with this information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 / transmission
  • COVID-19 Vaccines*
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Societies, Medical
  • United States
  • Vaccination


  • COVID-19 Vaccines