CDC strengthens COVID-19 vaccine recommendation for pregnant people

Following the release of new data about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has strengthened its vaccine recommendation for pregnant people.

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people ages 12 and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future.

Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. Severe illness from COVID-19 during pregnancy can be avoided by getting fully vaccinated.

In recent weeks, infections among pregnant people have been increasing. With the combination of low rates of vaccinations in pregnant people, the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant and the higher risk of complications from COVID-19 during pregnancy — the call for pregnant people to protect themselves and their pregnancies is urgent.

What did the new data reveal?

  • In a new analysis of the latest data from the V-safe pregnancy registry — which collects health information from people who received COVID-19 vaccination in the periconception period or during pregnancy — scientists did not find an increased risk for miscarriage among people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Previously, preliminary safety data from three safety monitoring systems on vaccinations late in pregnancy were reassuring, but data from people vaccinated during early pregnancy were lacking. These new findings, which showed no increased risk of miscarriage after receiving an mRNA vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy, helped to fill that gap in knowledge.
  • Growing evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy demonstrates that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks.

Is the rate of miscarriage concerning?

No. The miscarriage rates after receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine are within the range seen in previous studies of pregnant women who never received a COVID-19 vaccine (11–16%). The latest data do not suggest an increased risk of miscarriage after receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine just before or within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.