COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant and lactating women: A review of existing evidence and practice guidelines

Ishan Garg, Rahul Shekhar, Abu B. Sheikh, Suman Pal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has created a global pandemic that is devastating human lives, public healthcare systems, and global economies. Multiple effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines have been developed at an unprecedented speed due to the efforts of the scientific community, and collaboration between the federal government and pharmaceutical companies. However, the continued exclusion of pregnant and lactating women from the COVID anti-viral and vaccine trials has created the paradox of a lack of empirical evidence in a high-risk population. Based on the experience of similar prior vaccines, animal developmental and reproductive toxicology studies, and preliminary findings from human studies, various healthcare professional advisory committees (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine) have issued guidance supporting COVID-19 vaccination in pregnant and lactating women. In this article, we summarize the available data on the efficacy and safety profile of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnant and lactating women, review the challenges of vaccine hesitancy, and include recommendations for healthcare providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-699
Number of pages15
JournalInfectious Disease Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2021 by the authors.


  • Breast feeding
  • Coronavirus 2019
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 vaccines
  • Fertility
  • Lactation
  • Pregnancy
  • Vaccine


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