Leading experts including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) all strongly recommend the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy.
All three organizations emphasize the safety of the vaccines and note that COVID-19 puts pregnant women at increased risk of severe complications. The groups also stress that it’s safe to get the vaccine before, during and after pregnancy — there is absolutely no truth to rumors linking the vaccine to infertility or increased risk of miscarriage.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 in those 16 and older in August; two other COVID-19 vaccines, made by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceuticals, are currently authorized for emergency use. The vaccines offer protection against serious illness, including from the highly contagious Delta variant.
Still nervous? In addition to talking about any concerns you have with your OB/GYN, you might find it reassuring to hear from other moms-to-be who have been there. Below, What to Expect community parents share their vaccine experiences, including any side effects and how they’re doing now.
“I got my Pfizer vaccine when I was 7 and 10 weeks pregnant. I felt reassured by my doctor and emerging research about the safety of the vaccine during pregnancy. And I was anxious to have protection from COVID-19, especially since I knew that pregnant women are at increased risk of severe illness and hospitalization. I felt totally normal after the first shot and experienced some mild side effects after the second — a low-grade fever, fatigue and a sore arm. I was completely fine 24 hours later. I’m now 23 weeks pregnant and am happy to report that baby is doing great. I’m very glad I decided to get vaccinated — while I’m still taking precautions, especially as the latest Delta variant spreads, vaccination has given me some valuable peace of mind and a little less stress during my pregnancy.” — Kathleen Felton, What to Expect executive editor
“I got both [of] my shots in the first trimester (I also have a high-risk pregnancy) and it was a breeze. With the first shot, I had a sore arm. With the second shot, I felt tired and a little achy but that was gone the next day. And I feel so much better about protecting myself and my family!” — MMMom, What to Expect community member
“I was all for getting the vaccine once I was eligible, and when an appointment for Pfizer came up, I panicked. … I was nervous up to the point of arriving at CVS! But when I got that first shot (at 15 weeks), I felt so much better. After my second shot (at 18 weeks), I literally cried from relief. … When the vaccine itself was released, it helped my state so, so much. Personally, I have now heard my boy’s heartbeat going strong several times since being fully vaccinated. My ultrasounds show a healthy, growing baby. I feel him kicking like crazy even as I write this. I have absolutely zero regrets, and it makes me more confident for family members to meet him after birth.” — abf424, What to Expect community member
“I had my Moderna shots at week 14 and 18. After the first shot I just felt a little fatigue and had a sore arm. For the second shot, I had the same symptoms as the first, but also some body aches. No fever though, and I felt totally normal after two days. Baby is perfectly healthy and so am I!” — kayvl, What to Expect community member
“I got my shots in the second trimester. I am high risk due to PROM, my age and my exposure level. I had a sore arm and some fatigue, but I am immensely grateful I got it done and that there are amazing scientists that can create these life-saving vaccinations. To this day, I have never had COVID-19 — and although that could still change tomorrow, I feel a lot more confidence in my body taking care of the virus.” — thestarrynightshrimp, What to Expect community member
“I got my shots at 11 and 14 weeks, and baby has been thriving in my belly, growing and doing perfectly in all ultrasounds and kicking like crazy. I’m comforted knowing that not only am I protected thanks to the vaccine, my little one is too, since we know antibodies pass through the placenta, and babe will also get them through breast milk. It’s comforting to know that I am more protected as well!” — KaroWilk, What to Expect community member
“I got vaccinated at 9 and 12 weeks and did have some side effects, but they only lasted for less than 12 hours (and I didn’t have a fever). Every ultrasound I’ve had, my baby boy has passed with flying colors, is in the 50th percentile with weight and is doing so well! Best of all, I know we are both safe if I come into contact with the virus. My doctor said there’s so much to gain with taking the vaccine. It could save both of your lives.” — ashliebs, What to Expect community member
“I got Moderna at 9 and 13 weeks. I was teaching in person and had students out constantly with exposures and/or positive tests so I was so anxious. After the first shot I had no reactions but a sore arm. After the second, I had 24 hours of aches and chills and my temperature hit 100 degrees F once, but Tylenol took it back down in no time. That night I got really sweaty then woke up feeling perfectly fine like nothing had ever happened! And my baby is doing amazing — my doctor has actually commented on how remarkably issue-free my pregnancy has been. I’m now 28 weeks pregnant.” — cag430, What to Expect community member
“I had my first dose at 15 weeks and my second at 19 weeks. I am a high-risk pregnancy, as I have experienced three prior miscarriages. I conceived through IUI back in February, and have been monitored very closely throughout this pregnancy. I have had several growth scans, including a fetal echocardiogram, all of which have been positive. I’m a Type I diabetic, and I had COVID-19 back in the fall of 2020. It was a horrible experience, and not one I would ever want to relive, especially now. So as soon as I was able to take the vaccine, I jumped at the opportunity. I had mild arm soreness with the first dose, and no side effects with the second dose. Baby girl is healthy and kicking away as I type.” — crob8214, What to Expect community member
“I got the Moderna vaccine at 12 and 15 weeks and had zero issues. My side effects from the first stick were just a very sore arm. My side effects from the second stick were a very sore arm and some shoulder and back aches. … I’m now 30 weeks and everything is going smoothly — baby is growing at a healthy rate, lots of kicking and I feel really fantastic right now. I’m very glad I got the vaccine — the peace of mind is worth it alone for me.” — sec9586, What to Expect community member
“I had the Pfizer vaccine at 14 and 17 weeks. I only had a sore arm both times and baby is growing well (almost 1 pound at 20 weeks). This is my second child. I was exposed to COVID-19 by my friend here recently and definitely attribute being able to avoid infection to good hygiene and the vaccine. I still quarantined the allotted time but the vaccine gave me a little bit of peace of mind as this was the first time I knowingly was exposed to COVID-19 this entire time.” — danielle941321, What to Expect community member
“I got my first dose in the second trimester and the second dose in the third trimester. After each dose I felt flu-like — tired, achey, chills — for about 24 hours and then good as new the next day. I’ve had two ultrasounds since the first dose and all looks good — baby is kicking away all day. I feel much safer and very relieved that I can enjoy normal life a bit more.” — lewlew44, What to Expect community member
“I had my vaccine (Pfizer) at 35 and 38 weeks pregnant back in February (as soon as they opened up for me!) and March. My baby girl is now 4 months old and is thriving! It was such a relief to be fully vaccinated! I sought out two OB’s opinions before getting the vaccine and both strongly recommended it! I’m so happy both me and my baby girl have this layer of protection from this insidious virus.” — Pippa, What to Expect community member
“I received my first dose at 34 weeks pregnant and my second at 37 weeks. I had some arm soreness and mild fatigue for a day or so after my second dose, and otherwise felt fine. My baby girl was born healthy and happy — now 3 and a half months old, babbling, kicking, starting to roll and happy as can be!” — Lily, What to Expect community member
“I got both doses in my second trimester. I felt fine after the first and felt hungover with the second. But, the more important part: my baby was delivered in June just fine, is perfect and healthy … It gives me peace of mind when visiting family and friends.” — Nancy, What to Expect community member
The COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone in the U.S. free of charge, regardless of immigration status or whether or not you have health insurance. To find a COVID-19 vaccine site near you, visit Vaccines.gov.