Patient EducationNov | 1 | 2022
FAQs: COVID-19 Boosters for Pregnant Patients
Here, we answer questions about COVID-19 that pertain to pregnant patients and the COVID-19 booster shot. After reviewing this page, we encourage you to visit the Mass General Brigham COVID-19 website for more complete information about ways you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the novel coronavirus.
Mass General Brigham COVID-19 Info
Q: What is the updated COVID-19 booster vaccine?A: Updated COVID-19 booster vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on August 31, 2022. On September 1, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also approved and recommended the updated boosters. Check the CDC website for updates. The updated boosters are “bivalent.” Bivalent vaccines protect against two different viruses or two strains of the same virus. This type of vaccine is not new. Many common vaccines can protect against even more than two types of viruses or virus strains, like the flu vaccine. The updated COVID-19 boosters target the original COVID-19 strain and the newer omicron variant. Reported side effects seem to be the same as the original vaccine.
Q: Why is the updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters being recommended?
A: The FDA reviewed data that demonstrated that levels of immunity following vaccination, prior boosters, and natural infection decrease slightly over time.
Q: Is pregnancy an indication to get the updated bivalent COVID-19 booster?
A: Yes. All pregnant people, ages 18 and older, who received any of the COVID-19 vaccines are strongly recommended to get the updated COVID-19 vaccine booster as soon as possible.
High-risk populations, including pregnant people, will benefit from additional protection. COVID-19 infection during pregnancy is dangerous for the pregnant person. Scientific studies have now demonstrated that COVID-19 during pregnancy can cause severe illness, hospitalization, and rarely death in otherwise healthy pregnant people. In addition, COVID-19 infection during pregnancy has been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, and stillbirth. Immunization against COVID-19 with the primary vaccine series and the updated booster is the best intervention to protect your health during pregnancy.
Q: When should I get the updated bivalent booster during pregnancy?
A: The short answer is as soon as you are eligible and for most of us that means right away.
You are eligible for the updated booster if:
- You completed a primary vaccination series with one of the COVID-19 vaccines AND
- At least 2 months have passed since the last dose of your primary vaccine series or any booster dose OR at least 3 months have passed since your last COVID-19 infection
Q: I’ve already had COVID. Should I wait to get my booster?A: People with active COVID-19 infection should not receive a COVID vaccine dose while in isolation (this includes a booster dose). Individuals must have recovered from illness and be out of required isolation prior to receiving the COVID vaccine.
Even if you had COVID, you should still get your booster. There is growing evidence that vaccination following infection increases protection from subsequent infection and hospitalization.
If you have been infected with COVID-19 in the last 3 months, the following applies:
- You should delay vaccination until you have recovered from the acute illness and have met criteria for discontinuation of isolation
- You may also consider delaying your primary series or booster dose by 3 months from symptom onset or positive test. Your unique risk factor should be considered when deciding when to get a booster after a recent infection. Please talk to your medical team about what is best for you.
Q: Can I get a flu shot at the same time as my COVID-19 booster?
A: Yes, you can get the COVID-19 vaccine booster any time even if you recently received a flu vaccine. You can even get them both on the same day.
Q: Should my booster be the same vaccine I got before or can I "mix and match"?
A: Individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may want to get the vaccine they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. The CDC's recommendations now allow for this type of "mix and match" dosing for booster shots.
Additional References and Resources
- Mass General Brigham COVID-19 Info
- COVID-19 During Pregnancy FAQs
- COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
- Download the COVID-19 Vaccine Decision Aid for Pregnant and Breastfeeding People
- Mass General Brigham Coronavirus Hotline: 617-724-7000
- Mass General Obstetrics Program: 617-724-2229
This content was prepared by Ilona Goldfarb, MD, for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Date originally published: 10/7/2021
Date updated: 11/1/2022
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