When COVID-19 vaccines started arriving in the Philippines, I immediately Googled: Is it safe to get vaccinated against COVID-19 while pregnant? I had my apprehensions at first. But a good friend, who is a licensed pharmacist in the US, reassured me. I consulted with my OB as well, and she highly recommended that I get a vaccine as soon as possible! She cleared me as long as the vaccine brand was Pfizer. If it was any other brand, she advised me to wait until I was 20 weeks pregnant.
And so at 12 weeks pregnant, I got my first dose! And at 15 weeks, my second dose. My husband and I were so fortunate. The vaccine brand allotted to our barangay when we signed up was Pfizer. We didn’t even have to leave our village because everything was done in the village clubhouse! As for side effects, I didn’t experience any except for a sore arm.
COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding
During my screening before I got my vaccine, the healthcare worker asked if I was pregnant. I answered yes and informed him that my OB cleared me. My mistake was that I didn’t request a medical certificate from my OB. Good thing I had our chat thread as my proof just in case!
According to the CDC, pregnant women are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19. Additionally, if they get COVID-19, they have a higher risk of preterm birth. They might also be at an increased risk of other adverse pregnancy outcomes. COVID-19 vaccines protect them from severe symptoms.
Similarly, COVID-19 vaccines don’t affect lactating women or their breastfeeding babies. Recent reports even showed that those who breastfeed and were vaccinated develop antibodies in their breastmilk! This can help protect their babies against COVID-19 as well.
Is it Safe to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19 While Pregnant?
Experts believe that COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk despite the limited data available. But both the CDC and FDA are safely monitoring systems to get information about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy. So far, early data doesn’t identify any safety concerns.
My sister-in-law, who was about 20 weeks pregnant, received Pfizer. I have another friend who recently got Moderna and had just entered her second trimester. Meanwhile, a friend currently breastfeeding her 1-year-old son got Sinovac.
The Importance of COVID-Vaccines
Vaccines prevent severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. This is more urgent now than ever because of the highly contagious Delta variant. Research proves that vaccines are safe, effective, and can help build protection. Last but not least, it can eventually help us reach herd immunity.
If you’d like to get updates from the Department of Health on the availability of vaccines, they have a dedicated page on their website. Meanwhile, those who live or work in Quezon City can check QC Protektado! You can easily sign up if you have a QCitizen ID.
I hope that this article helped enlighten those of you who are pregnant but still hesitating to get a vaccine. Should you have any questions or concerns, just ask your OB or talk to an expert! If you know someone who is currently pregnant or breastfeeding, share this article to assure them. And if you have any questions about my experience, let me know in the comment section.