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COVID-19 boosters for moms-to-be

Illustration of a pregnant woman with her hands on her belly.

If you're pregnant, you want to make the best choices for your health and the health of your baby. That's why it's important to protect yourself—and your little one—from COVID-19. And if you're already vaccinated, it might be time to give that protection an extra boost.

COVID-19 and your pregnancy

COVID-19 is linked to premature birth, stillbirth and other complications. And pregnant women are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. That could mean hospitalization, the need for a ventilator or even death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a booster shot during any stage of pregnancy if:

  • It's been at least five months since your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
  • It's been at least two months since you received the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.

The benefits of a booster shot

If you're already vaccinated, you might wonder why a booster shot is important. But an additional dose of the vaccine can make a big difference to you and your pregnancy. Here are three reasons why, according to CDC:

1. Booster shots offer powerful protection. Your original COVID-19 vaccine is still working, but its protection may weaken over time. An additional dose of the vaccine can boost your immune system.

2. Booster shots are safe. CDC and other agencies have been monitoring the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant women. No safety concerns have been found. And there was no increased risk of miscarriage with mRNA vaccines given before 20 weeks. And none of the COVID-19 vaccines contain live virus. They can't give you or your baby COVID-19.

3. A booster shot might protect your newborn. COVID-19 vaccines aren't yet authorized for children under 5. Your little one will likely have to wait to be vaccinated. But antibodies have been found in the umbilical cord blood and breastmilk of women who received mRNA vaccines while they were pregnant. Research is ongoing. But that's a sign that your vaccine might protect your baby after he or she is born. More data is needed to see if your shot could protect your baby.

Choose your shot

You can mix or match vaccines for your booster shot, but CDC strongly recommends the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine over the J&J. Not sure which shot is right for you? Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines in our Coronavirus topic center, and talk it over with your doctor. They can help you make the right choice for you and your baby.

Reviewed 5/10/2022

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