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COVID-19 and pregnancy

As omicron cases continue to spread in the community, it's now more important than ever to make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination. If you are aged 18 or older, and you received your first two doses of the vaccine at least 3 months (93 days) ago, then it is time to receive your booster. 

The booster is safe for people who are: 

  • Trying to become pregnant 
  • Currently pregnant
  • Breastfeeding 

If you haven't yet received the vaccine, it is safe to get your first dose at any point during your pregnancy. Please book your vaccine here()


Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

Yes! The COVID-19 vaccine is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding people. 

Check out this excellent video by Dr Michelle Wise for more information.


The Pfizer vaccine has been thoroughly assessed for safety by our own Medsafe experts and international medical safety agencies.
Medsafe only grants consent for using a vaccine in Aotearoa once they’re satisfied it has met strict standards for safety, efficacy and quality. This is the same process used to assess medicines and other vaccines, like the flu vaccine.
There have been no shortcuts taken in granting approval. The Pfizer vaccine has been used successfully by millions worldwide. Ongoing monitoring for safety continues.
Global data from the large number of pregnant people already vaccinated shows there are no additional safety concerns if you are pregnant. There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage during pregnancy.

If you have further questions, take a look at this video by the Royal College for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for more information.


Will the vaccine affect my fertility?

No, the Pfizer vaccine will not affect your fertility or your DNA. There is strong evidence to suggest that the vaccine is safe for those who are trying to become pregnant or may become pregnant in the future. 

What are the side effects?

Common side effects include pain or swelling where the injection was given, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, chills and fever. Most side effects are mild and don't last long.

The Ministry of Health offers more information on common and rare vaccine side effects and what to do if you are concerned about your health. 

How does COVID-19 affect pregnancy?

Having COVID-19 during pregnancy can have serious consequences for you and your baby. 

Pregnant people who catch COVID-19 are more likely to

  • develop a severe infection
  • need admission to an intensive care unit
  • require a ventilator for breathing support
  • experience other complications such as preeclampsia 

COVID-19 may also be associated with putting your baby at risk of 

  • requiring neonatal intensive care
  • being born by emergency Caesarean section
  • preterm birth (being born early)
  • stillbirth

The good news is that if you get vaccinated during pregnancy, you may be able to give some of the protection to your baby. This improves the baby’s ability to fight a COVID-19 infection, which is especially important because babies' immune systems are not developed enough to fight infections.


Can I get other vaccines in pregnancy?

You can still get other vaccinations you may need during your pregnancy, such as the flu vaccine, or whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine (Boostrix) from 16 weeks of pregnancy. There is no need for a gap between these vaccines and your COVID-19 vaccination.

Can I breastfeed if I have COVID-19?

Breastfeeding is strongly encouraged for all babies regardless of the COVID-19 status of their mum/whānau. High COVID-19 risk mums will be asked to wear a mask when handling and feeding their baby.