Getting vaccinated while pregnant

We urge health professionals to encourage all women planning pregnancy, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and influenza.

For women previously vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, an additional dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine with an updated formulation is also recommended. In Estonia, Comirnaty is currently available, which includes protection against the XBB1.5 subtype. Vaccination is especially useful for high-risk pregnant women (overweight, age over 40 years, chronic lung disease, heart disease, pre-pregnancy diabetes) and breastfeeding women. Vaccination with an additional dose is allowed if at least 2 months have passed since the previous vaccination against COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 is allowed in every trimester of pregnancy. It is recommended to consult the patient beforehand and document it in their medical records.

To date, enough information has been gathered about the safety of vaccination with mRNA vaccines during pregnancy. The benefits associated with vaccination before and during pregnancy outweigh the associated risks. 

Influenza vaccination (not with live vaccine) is allowed in any trimester and is especially recommended before the start of flu season.

COVID-19 and pregnancy 

Pregnancy increases the probability of the need for intensive care and artificial ventilation of the lungs in case of contracting COVID-19, as well as the risk of intensive care for the newborn of a mother with corona. Pregnant women with a previously known condition and disease (for example, overweight, diabetes, chronic heart disease, lung disease, etc.) are at particularly high risk.

The risk of premature birth, fetal growth retardation and intrauterine death is increased.

Similarly, the risk of becoming seriously ill with the influenza is higher during pregnancy.

Vaccinations during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Pregnancy and breastfeeding are not contraindications to vaccination; pregnancy testing is not necessary before deciding to vaccinate. If necessary, you can consult your gynaecologist or midwife.

Vaccination is permitted with any vaccine administered during pregnancy, including within 14 days of getting another vaccine.

Vaccination is equally effective in non-pregnant and pregnant patients.

All COVID 19 vaccines are of similar effectiveness and significantly lower the chance of developing a severe COVID infection.

Based on currently available data, antibodies are transferred to the fetus transplacentally, if a pregnant woman vaccinates herself during pregnancy.

Side effects of vaccinations

The occurrence of side effects after vaccination is related to the development of the body’s resistance (antibodies) to the coronavirus – redness, pain at the injection site, fever, nausea, etc.

In case of post-vaccination fever, it is allowed to use paracetamol (also in pregnant women). Administration of anti-D-immunoglobulin is allowed if necessary.

None of the COVID 19 vaccines cause infertility or induce miscarriage.

Vaccination of pregnant women who have experienced an acute allergic reaction or anaphylaxis to a previous administration of the COVID-19 vaccine is not recommended.

  • Seasonal vaccination
  • COVID-19 vaccination in Estonia – official information from the website.
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