You should get a COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself from the virus if you’re:
- trying for a baby or might get pregnant in the future
Most pregnant women who get the virus get mild to moderate symptoms. They give birth as planned and the risk of passing on COVID-19 to their baby is low.
But you are more likely to get very unwell and need treatment in intensive care than a woman who is not pregnant. The virus may also cause complications for your baby.
If you’re unsure about getting a vaccine
Evidence shows COVID-19 vaccines are safe for you and your baby and protect you from getting very unwell. But COVID-19 vaccines are new. We are still learning about them.
Talk to your obstetrician, midwife or GP about the risks and benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
How to get your vaccine if pregnant
Your maternity hospital or GP will arrange your COVID-19 vaccine for you if you are pregnant.
You’ll get your vaccine appointment within 2 to 3 weeks of being contacted by your maternity hospital or GP.
If your next hospital appointment is close to when you are 36 weeks pregnant, and you have not heard from your maternity hospital or GP about a vaccine, phone them to discuss your options.
Doses during pregnancy
You will need 2 doses of your COVID-19 vaccine:
- the first dose should be at or after 14 weeks of pregnancy
- the second dose should be before the end of 36 weeks
If you don’t get the second dose by the end of 36 weeks, wait until after you have your baby to get it. This is because you may get a fever after the second dose.
Call HSE Live after your baby is born to arrange your second dose.
You can get your COVID-19 vaccine on the same day as any of the other vaccines you need during pregnancy, if you want.
You’ll be offered either the:
The vaccine you will get will depend on supply.
Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild to moderate and do not last long.
You can take paracetamol if you have a fever (temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher). Do not take ibuprofen or aspirin.
Read about potential side effects after the:
If you get pregnant after the first dose
If you get pregnant after the first dose of your COVID-19 vaccine, you should wait until 14 weeks or after to get the second dose.
Phone HSE Live or talk to your maternity hospital or GP about delaying your second dose
If you are vaccinated before knowing you are pregnant
We recommend that you wait until you are 14 weeks pregnant to get your vaccine. This is a precaution. It is to avoid any possible association with a miscarriage.
But some women may get their vaccine without knowing that they are pregnant. If you become pregnant following the first dose, wait until 14 weeks or after to get the second dose.
There is no evidence that any COVID-19 vaccine will harm your baby.
Pregnant and breastfeeding
Continue to breastfeed as normal. COVID-19 vaccines do not have any effect on breastfed babies. You will get your vaccine through your maternity hospital or GP.