Question of the Day: Do Covid-19 Immunizations Affect Pregnancy or Fertility?
If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, should you get the Covid-19 shots?
Rabbi Melber has dedicated extensive research to this topic, speaking with medical experts worldwide, reading medical journal research, and attending live discussions with the Israeli Ministry of Health as an official member of its Commission on the Advancement of Women’s Health.
To this end, Rabbi Melber’s stance on the Covid-19 Prizer and Moderna inoculations is as follows:
Couples trying to conceive will not increase their risk of female nor male factor infertility by getting these immunizations. Several women’s reproductive medical organizations have come out attesting to this publicly, namely ACOG - the American College of Gynecologists, ASRM - the Advancement of the Science and Practice of Reproductive Medicine, and SMFM, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Note that ESHRE, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, takes a more cautious approach specifically as there is no data for long-term effects. Nonetheless, Rabbi Melber’s research concluded there are no known effects specifically on fertility.
These immunizations are not associated with problems for the baby in utero nor the pregnant mother. Of concern are recent cases of some pregnant women suffering from serious Covid-19 who also miscarried. As with anyone, Covid-19 more so affects those who have other risk factors, and pregnancy can increase the likelihood of health complications especially in women with pre-existing conditions. Based on the research and data available, Tahareinu recommends the inoculations for any trimester, and every pregnant woman should weigh her personal risk factor for Covid-19 along with her OBGYN.
Long Term Effects
It is acknowledged that long term effects of these inoculations remain unknown as they have only been available for a couple of months. At the same time, those with whom Rabbi Melber consulted are of the opinion that it is unlikely these inoculations will result in ill-effects long term. The main question for pregnant women and couples trying to conceive therefore is whether the risk of unknown long-term effects outweighs their personal risk from Covid-19 symptoms. Statistically, couples of childbearing age are not at high risk of Covid-19, and those with higher-risk factors can discuss their situation with their doctor.
Pfizer/Moderna Inoculations In Summary
Short term: No effect on fertility, and no recorded dangers for pregnancy.
Long term: Each couple should assess their own risk/benefit along with her doctor(s).
All in all, Rabbi Melber recommends that couples trying to conceive, as well as pregnant women, receive the Pfizer/Moderna inoculation against Covid-19.
Note: Tahareinu at present is only addressing the Pfizer or Moderna brands of Covid-19 inoculations. The information above applies only to those two brands.