Pregnancy, breastfeeding and the coronavirus vaccine

Pregnant women are at increased risk from coronavirus (COVID-19). NHS Scotland are offering pregnant women a coronavirus vaccine this winter. Having all the recommended doses of the vaccine as soon as possible is important for protection against coronavirus.

It’s safe to get the flu and coronavirus vaccines at the same time and they can be given at any stage of your pregnancy.

Some pregnant women have become seriously unwell with coronavirus and needed hospital treatment. Pregnant women with coronavirus have a higher risk of being admitted to intensive care than women of the same age who are not pregnant.

Public Health Scotland data from December 2020 to March 2022 shows that 89% of pregnant women with coronavirus who required intensive care in Scotland were unvaccinated.

The coronavirus vaccine and pregnancy

The coronavirus vaccine is recommended in pregnancy. Vaccination is the best way to protect pregnant women and their babies against the known risks of coronavirus in pregnancy.

You and your unborn baby cannot catch coronavirus from the vaccine.

Please read information about coronavirus vaccination from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists before attending your appointment.

Is the vaccine safe in pregnancy?

The coronavirus vaccines available in the UK have been shown to be safe and effective. Their safety and effectiveness continues to be checked while in use.

How can I get the vaccine?

Speak to your midwife about the vaccines you’ll be offered to help protect you this winter.

Breastfeeding advice

If you're breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed, you can get the coronavirus vaccine.

The benefits of breastfeeding are well known, and the coronavirus vaccine can safely be given to women who are breastfeeding. The antibodies you make following vaccination can pass into your breastmilk. These may give your baby some protection against coronavirus.

You should not stop breastfeeding to be vaccinated against coronavirus. You can continue breastfeeding as normal after vaccination.

The coronavirus vaccine and fertility

There's no evidence to suggest that the coronavirus vaccine will affect fertility in women or men. If you're thinking of getting pregnant, the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your baby against the known risks of coronavirus in pregnancy.

You do not need to avoid pregnancy after receiving the coronavirus vaccination.

Other vaccines during pregnancy

There are 2 other vaccines offered during pregnancy; flu and whooping cough. Find out more about the flu and whooping cough vaccines in pregnancy

Further information

Make sure you know as much as you can about the coronavirus vaccines and the risk of coronavirus in pregnancy.

If you have any questions about the risks and benefits of vaccination you should discuss these with your clinician.

Last updated:
11 August 2022