Bay IVF - Advanced Reproductive Care                                Palo Alto  650-322-0500


Latest on COVID and Pregnancy

Adapted from Nov 12, 2021 Update on COVID-19 Vaccination, Booster Shots and Reproductive Health Care by The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)

COVID-19 Vaccination and Fertility

  • There are no fertility-related reasons for a vaccine exemption.

COVID-19 Vaccination and Pregnancy

  • Based on US CDC data, as of September 2021, an estimated 31% of pregnant women have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • Symptomatic pregnant women with COVID-19 have a 70% increased risk of death than non-pregnant women with COVID-19.

  • Patients who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant should become vaccinated against COVID-19 with any available vaccines.

  • Vaccination against COVID-19 significantly decreases the risk of infection and severe disease at all stages of pregnancy. Approximately 400 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the US since 2020 with an excellent safety profile.

  • Current available data support the safety of vaccination against COVID-19 prior to pregnancy and during all stages of pregnancy. Therefore, patients considering pregnancy should be vaccinated as soon as possible and not wait until conception, gestation, delivery, or post-delivery.

  • Vaccination early in gestation protects pregnant women and allows an adequate immune response to develop before delivery.

  • While additional well-designed studies are needed, COVID-19 vaccination during the first trimester has not been shown to increase the incidence of spontaneous abortion before 20 weeks gestation.

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots and Pregnancy

  • Patients who are fully vaccinated and either pregnant or recently pregnant should receive a booster shot at the recommended time after receiving their second dose of vaccine (e.g., after six months for the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, or after two months of receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine).

  • There are no data to suggest a benefit of delaying the timing of a booster shot (or initial vaccination) based on intention to become pregnant, trimester of pregnancy, or proximity to delivery.

Medical Letter for Exemption from COVID-19 Vaccination

  • Patients commonly look to their health care providers to write supportive exemption letters on their behalf. As a result, reproductive medicine specialists may encounter patients who ask for an exemption letter excusing them from mandated COVID-19 vaccination.

  • The ASRM recommends that requests for letters of medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination be directed toward a health care provider who is an expert in medical conditions that might qualify for an exemption. Such a provider would be in the best position to determine the vaccination eligibility status of the patient.

  • Neither infertility nor pregnancy are reasons for exemption.

Partners in the Clinic

  • Patients, partners, and intended parents should be vaccinated while undergoing fertility treatment to minimize risks to themselves and their pregnancy. However, access to fertility care should not be denied because of vaccination status.

  • Where permissible, the ASRM supports partners and intended parents attending reproductive health appointments, provided they wear a mask and are asymptomatic. However, state, local, institution, and clinic rules and guidelines supersede this guidance.

  • Individual clinics should have a uniform policy regarding partners and intended parents attending reproductive health appointments.

December 2021


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