Is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I'm pregnant?
Shanna Combs, M.D., pediatric gynecologist, answers your questions.
As parents, we want to make the best decisions for our baby. We’ve been asked a lot lately if it’s safe for pregnant women, or women planning on becoming pregnant, to get the COVID-19 vaccine. We met with Shanna Combs, M.D., a gynecologist, to answer some of our most frequent questions.
Dr. Combs oversees the Cook Children’s Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology department. She is the Obstetrics and Gynecology Clerkship Director with the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine and has been an assistant professor for the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine since completing her residency.
Dr. Shanna Combs video interview:
If I decide to get a COVID vaccine, what should I expect?
It’s a shot, so I always say your arm is going to be sore the next day. I usually tell people to get it in the arm of hand they write with, so they move it around and it's not quite as sore.
I have heard rumors about how the vaccines can affect my body. What is the truth?
It has no impact on your genetic makeup. Basically what is in your cells, the way you are, that doesn't change. All it's doing is teaching your body how to fight the infection. It's a normal, natural response. With the vaccine, when you feel that bad is your immune system learning the process. It just means that your immune system is working really hard to figure out how to fight off this virus, but we're not actually giving you COVID with the vaccine.
Should I get a COVID vaccine if I am trying to get pregnant?
There has been no evidence to show that it affects your fertility. I know there have been reports that it causes infertility. That has not been shown at all. There’s a continuous registry and nothing has been reported regarding infertility. And so we do recommend it, even if you are considering getting pregnant or planning on getting pregnant, as well as once you are pregnant. We highly recommend the vaccine.
Is there enough research to know my child will not have any long-term effects?
As a physician (and) a woman’s health specialist and OB-GYN, I would not recommend something to my patients if I thought it was going to endanger them or their child. I say follow the science. This has been studied. This has been approved. It's gone through the normal FDA processes. The only difference with this vaccine right now is it's under emergency use authorization, which does not mean it's experimental, because there is a category for that. It's gone through all the usual processes, it’s just expedited some of the FDA processes to get it out. But it's been studied in many, many people and I highly, highly recommend it for women.
To learn more about the COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding, click here for information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).