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Pregnant women and members of their household are now eligible to be vaccinated. 

COVID-19 Illness during Pregnancy

COVID-19 is potentially dangerous for everyone. Pregnant women who have COVID-19 and experience symptoms are more likely than nonpregnant women with COVID-19 to need care in an intensive care unit, to need a ventilator for breathing support or to die from the illness. Still, the overall risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 for pregnant women is low. Research also suggests having COVID-19 might increase risk for premature birth. And while transmission of the virus from mother to baby during pregnancy is possible, it appears to be a rare event. 

Pregnant women who are Black or Hispanic appear to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19, but not because of biology. Black and Hispanic women are more likely to face social, health and economic inequities that put them at greater risk of illness. Pregnant women with other health conditions like obesity or diabetes might be at even higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. 

COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy 

There is limited data available on the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women because they were not included in initial clinical trials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will continue to closely monitor safety issues among pregnant women who receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Here’s what we do know:

  • Available evidence from animal studies and ongoing vaccine safety monitoring suggests COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant women. 
  • Monitoring of more than 30,000 pregnant women who have received the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines since December 2020 have not indicated any safety concerns. 
  • Side effects can occur after receiving any vaccine. These side effects are not expected to be any different for pregnant women than for those who aren’t pregnant. For more information on common COVID-19 vaccine side effects, click here

Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is optional, and all Tennesseans have a choice in what COVID-19 vaccine they receive.

All vaccines protect you from serious illness and death from COVID-19.

Additional Resources: 

Pregnancy or Breastfeeding. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Monitoring Systems for Pregnant People. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Coronavirus (COVID-19), Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding: A Message for Patients. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 

Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.