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Planning a pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding

It's natural to worry about your health and the health of your unborn baby during pregnancy. Here are answers to some of the common questions about getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you are planning a pregnancy, are currently pregnant, or recently pregnant. 

If you are ready to get first, second or booster dose click here for your options.  

The COVID-19 vaccine can help keep you and your unborn baby from getting sick from COVID-19

What we know:

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) and the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario and the Medical Officer of Health of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit recommends all people who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

It is also recommended that any partner and family members of the pregnant individual get vaccinated to further protect the pregnant individual and their unborn child.

The risk of complications or severity from COVID-19 during pregnancy or postpartum far outweigh any potential risk from COVID-19 vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines cannot make you sick with COVID-19,  or damage or change your DNA.

Dr. Tali Bogler, family medicine obstetrics provider and co-founder of @pandemicpregnancyguide shared “we have large data sets, almost 80,000 individuals who have received the vaccine during their pregnancy. Some of these babies are now six months of age, and overall there are no red flags in terms of safety issues in terms of the pregnancy itself, leading to more miscarriages or pre-term births, or any congenital abnormalities in the children”. (COVID-19 and Pregnancy: Information at your Fingertips – Prenatal Screening Ontario October 13th, 2021)

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine before getting pregnant may protect you and your future baby from the harms of COVID-19 in pregnancy.

It is important for everyone to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations. Staying up to date means you have received a primary series and have received at least one COVID-19 booster dose (original or bivalent) on or after September 1, 2022.

Pregnant women are recommended to remain up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations. COVID-19 vaccination can occur at any time during your pregnancy, including the first trimester.

mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) are the safest type of COVID-19 vaccine to get during pregnancy or when planning to get pregnant. 

There is no scientific link to infertility caused by COVID-19 vaccines.

In fact, getting all recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine before you conceive will help protect you and your future baby from the risk of COVID-19 in pregnancy.

Research shows that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for those who are trying to get pregnant (it does not impact fertility) and does not increase the risk of miscarriage.

If you get vaccinated when pregnant, the antibodies that your body makes to fight COVID-19 will be passed to baby to potentially protect them from COVID-19.  

If you get vaccinated when breastfeeding, or have been vaccinated the antibodies can be found in your breast milk and passed to a baby who is breast fed to potentially protect them from COVID-19.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, evidence has evolved to indicate that pregnancy is a risk factor for severe outcomes of COVID-19. Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals are recommended to receive a booster dose.

It is strongly encouraged that pregnant individuals stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations to prevent the risk of severe outcomes.

Walk-in clinics are listed here, no appointment necessary.

To make an appointment, go to the COVID-19 Vaccination Portal or call: 1-833-943-3900.

You don’t have to wait between COVID-19 vaccine doses and other vaccines, like Tdap or influenza vaccine, given during pregnancy.  It is important you and your baby are protected as soon as possible against many different viruses or diseases.

Talk to your health care provider about the best time to receive the vaccine after your recovery from COVID-19. 

It is recommended that those who have had COVID-19 infection still receive the vaccine to ensure longer term protection.

Consult with your health care provider prior to vaccination if you:

  • have any allergies to the vaccine ingredients (including polyethylene glycol [PEG]) or to a previous COVID-19 vaccine.have experienced myocarditis and/or pericarditis after a first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have other allergies (e.g., seafood, nuts, latex, other drug allergies), you can get the COVID-19 vaccination.

Talk with your health care provider, or access the following services:

  • The Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre to speak to an experienced agent or health specialist at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007), available 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in more than 300 languages.
  • The VaxFacts Clinic - a one-to-one judgement-free phone consultation with a Scarborough Health Network doctor. The service is available in over 200 languages using an interpreter.
  • Contact us by calling 1-705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by email.

Page last updated: March 6, 2023

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