I am in full support of the COVID-19 vaccination for my fertility, gynaecology and obstetric patients. I understand that my patients have many questions relating to both fertility and pregnancy, and the safety of the COVID-19 vaccination. By answering these questions and addressing your concerns, I hope to be able to provide peace of mind. Remember, as always, specific advice from an obstetrician or fertility specialist tailored to your situation is always recommended.
Should I have the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m undergoing fertility treatment or IVF?
Yes. Based on advice from the Australian & New Zealand Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, I support the decision to get a COVID-19 vaccination during fertility treatment. There is no evidence that the vaccine will affect your overall fertility or current treatment, nor the pregnancy that follows.
I recommend that you avoid having the vaccine in the days leading up to your admission to the hospital for embryo transfer or egg collection. Approximately 15% of patients have a fever following vaccination. Whilst this in itself is not worrying, hospital protocols may prevent patients who have a fever from being admitted to the hospital.
Should I have the COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant?
Yes. The Pfizer vaccine is now recommended for all women who are pregnant. There has been extensive use of this vaccine in the US and UK with no specific pregnancy complications and no increase in overall complications compared to non-pregnant recipients. What has been seen with vaccine administration is a reduction in the chance of the pregnant woman getting COVID-19 and therefore a reduction in transmission to family members and close contacts.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause miscarriage?
No. There is no evidence of an increased risk of miscarriage or abnormalities in the physical development of your baby.
Should I have the COVID-19 vaccine if I am breastfeeding?
Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are thought to be safe and not considered to be a risk to your child.
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
The vaccine protects you from COVID-19 by fooling your immune system into making an immune response to small proteins that are associated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus causing the disease COVID-19). Your body will then have pre-built immunity should you ever be exposed to the real virus and you will be protected. For an adequate response, it is recommended that you receive the vaccine twice, several weeks apart.
What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?
There are minimal side effects that remain uncommon. These include a sore injection site, headache, fatigue, temperature rise and muscle weakness. These symptoms are not from you having ‘mild COVID-19’. They are as a result of the immune response that your body mounts in response to the vaccine.
What should I do if I am newly pregnant?
Get the vaccine as soon as possible! As above, the Pfizer vaccine has been determined safe for use in pregnancy in Australia.
The information on this page is general in nature. All medical and surgical procedures have potential benefits and risks. Consult a healthcare professional for medical advice specific to you.