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Pregnant and breastfeeding

The Danish Health Authority recommends that pregnant women in the 2nd or 3rd trimester and breastfeeding women are vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccination is voluntary and free of charge.

Scientific studies and compilation of data show that it is perfectly safe to be vaccinated if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The vaccines offer the same protection in pregnant and breastfeeding women as they do in other people in the same age group. 

If you are pregnant, you are at risk of becoming severely ill from covid-19. If you are breastfeeding, you have the same relatively low risk of becoming severely ill from covid-19 as other individuals of the same age as you. 

If you are vaccinated, regardless of whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding:

  • You do not have to worry about becoming infected and severely ill from covid-19 (pregnant)
  • You do not have to avoid being around other people

Vaccines are our best line of defence against the winter months and any new virus variants. To protect people and our society, we want as many people as possible to be vaccinated against covid-19. 

Deciding on vaccination

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you probably have a lot of questions when you are trying to make up your mind on whether to be vaccinated against covid-19 or not. Please know that the Danish Health Authority would not advocate vaccination if our conclusion that it is safe and effective for you to be vaccinated against covid-19 were not based on a highly professional assessment of all available scientific studies and data. 

If you are still undecided, we recommend that you get advice from your midwife at your next appointment if you are pregnant. If you are breastfeeding, you can get advice from your health visitor.

Please learn more in this publication:

Information about vaccination against covid-19 for pregnant and breastfeeding women

Follow the general guidance 

If you are pregnant, please continue to follow our guidance to help prevent the spread of infection – especially if you are not vaccinated.

  • Stay at home and get tested if you have symptoms
  • Keep your distance
  • Open windows and doors and ventilate your home regularly 
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitiser
  • Clean thoroughly and regularly, especially surfaces that are touched by many people
 

 

 

I'm pregnant or trying to get pregnant

1. Why does the Danish Health Authority recommend vaccination against covid-19?

The Danish Health Authority recommends that pregnant women in the 2nd or 3rd trimester are vaccinated against covid-19.

Our recommendation is based on a professional assessment of scientific studies, efficacy and side effects data, and advice from experts.

The conclusion is that it is safe and effective for pregnant or breastfeeding women to be vaccinated against covid-19.

 

2. When should I be vaccinated if I’m pregnant?

If you are pregnant and want to be vaccinated, we recommend vaccination in the 2nd or 3rd trimester. In general, medication in the 1st trimester of pregnancy is advised against as a precaution because the baby’s organs are formed in the first 12 weeks.

3. How ill will I get if I become infected with covid-19?

Most pregnant women will only experience mild symptoms if they become infected with novel coronavirus. However, some pregnant women may risk becoming more severely ill with covid-19.

Studies from abroad have found that pregnant women who get covid-19 have approximately twice as high a risk of hospitalisation in the intensive care unit. Studies also show that mothers with covid-19 have a 2-3 times higher risk of giving birth prematurely or needing an emergency caesarean. Furthermore, research suggests that there might also be a slightly increased risk of fetal death. The risk of becoming severely ill from covid-¬19 is highest if you also have conditions such as diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease, are obese or are older than 35.

 

4. What is known about the efficacy and safety of covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy?

The vaccines against covid-19 are effective and safe for pregnant women. The vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna offer the same protection in pregnant women as they do in everybody else. Furthermore, if you receive an mRNA covid-19 vaccine during pregnancy, you protect your baby from infection by passing high levels of antibodies to your baby.  

There has been no increased risk of miscarriages, malformations or premature births in pregnant women who are vaccinated against covid-19. In the United States, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have safety monitoring systems that closely monitor and capture information about vaccination during pregnancy.  At this time, more than 170,000 pregnant women have enrolled in the registry. Preliminary findings are reassuring and have not identified any safety concerns.

There is no suspicion that the vaccine is transmitted to the foetus via the placenta. 

The health authorities continuously analyse data on the efficacy and safety of the vaccines. There is no indication that vaccination against covid-19 poses an increased risk for either the mother or baby – either short or long term. 

Pregnant women are offered the vaccine in the USA and most countries in Europe. 

 

5. Can vaccination affect my developing fetus?

No, the vaccine is not harmful to a developing baby.

The vaccines are not ‘live’ vaccines and cannot cause infection. When you are vaccinated, your body forms antibodies, and the antibodies transfer from you to your baby across the placenta and help protect your fetus from covid-19.

 

6. Should I be vaccinated if I’m trying to get pregnant or impregnate my partner?

You can be vaccinated if you or your partner is trying to become pregnant/get your partner pregnant. The vaccines do not impact either female or male fertility. 

7. Should I wait to get pregnant if I have just been vaccinated?

No, there is no reason to delay conception.  There is no evidence that covid-19 vaccines cause fertility problems in either women or men. 

8. I have become pregnant after the 1st dose of the vaccine

If you have begun a course of vaccination, we recommend that you complete the series as planned. Studies have found no evidence of increased risk for your fetus after covid-19 vaccination in the 1st trimester. 

If you would rather wait to get the 2nd vaccine dose until the 2nd trimester, please call your regional hotline to have your appointment changed. If you are not sure what to do, we recommend that you talk to your midwife.

If you have not been vaccinated yet, we recommend that you wait until the 2nd or 3rd trimester. In general, medication in the 1st trimester of pregnancy is advised against as a precaution. 

 

9. What are the side effects of the vaccines?

All vaccines can cause side effects – including the vaccines against COVID-19. Pregnant women may have the same side effects as others after vaccination. In the vast majority of cases, the side effects are mild and transient, and we consider the vaccines to be very safe and well documented.

Mild side effects

Most people will experience some soreness at the injection site. Other common side effects include fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills, a slight fever, and redness and swelling at the insertion site. In general, these side effects are signs that your body's immune system is reacting to the vaccine. You do not need to call your doctor if you experience these mild and transient side effects. Please do not worry if you are not experiencing any side effects - the vaccines will work regardless of whether you have any side effects or not. 

Most post-vaccination side effects occur within the first six weeks of vaccination, and they very rarely occur later. Both Danish and European health authorities monitor the vaccines closely after they are approved – both in terms of how effective they are and how many side effects they cause.

Rare side effects

Very few people get rare side effects such as severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), which may be caused by, for example, allergies to the additives in the vaccines.

 If you have previously had a severe allergic reaction immediately after being vaccinated or after being injected with a medicinal product, you should contact your doctor before being vaccinated against COVID-19. If you have known allergies to macrogols/PEG/ polyethylene glycol, you should not be vaccinated with the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

Read more about reported side effects for COVID-19 vaccines at Danish Medicines Agency


10. Can I get the 2nd dose if I have received the 1st dose with the vaccine from AstraZeneca?

Yes, if you have received the 1st dose with the vaccine from AstraZeneca, you can get 2nd dose with the vaccine from either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

We recommend that you get the 2nd dose as soon as possible, regardless of how long it has been since you got the 1st dose of AstraZeneca.

 

11. Which vaccine will I be given?

The two covid-19 vaccines we use in Denmark are from the vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. You will be given both doses with either one of these vaccines.

Read more about the two vaccines on the Danish Health Authority's website:

Covid-19 vaccines in Denmark

 

12. What should I do if I am pregnant and wish to be vaccinated?

If you wish to be vaccinated, you can book an appointment at vacciner.dk for vaccination at a regional vaccination centre. 

Vacciner.dk

At the vaccination centre:

  • You will be given information material on the vaccination of pregnant and breastfeeding women, which you will have the opportunity to read at the vaccination centre.
  • The vaccinator will then talk to you about the vaccination itself – including efficacy and side effects.
  • You must confirm that you consent to the procedure based on the information you have been given.
  • You can now get vaccinated.
  • Like everyone else who gets vaccinated, you must remain seated for observation until 15 minutes have elapsed after you have been vaccinated.

13. What should I do if my work puts me at increased risk of becoming infected with COVID-19?

Most people at higher risk can go to work as usual if the Danish Health Authority’s guidance on how to prevent infection can be followed. This applies to both fully vaccinated and non-vaccinated persons.

Therefore, as a general rule, you do not need to be transferred to another function or work from home, even if you have contact with many people on a day-to-day basis. This also applies to pregnant women. However, it is important that you talk to your employer about whether some changes should be made in relation to your work tasks or working conditions, so that infection is prevented as much as possible, and you can feel safe when you go to work. If you work in the healthcare, social services or nursing care sector, it is important that you use the protective equipment recommended for the various tasks. If you are at particularly higher risk and, for example, have a combination of risk factors such as certain chronic diseases or conditions, it may be necessary to take special precautions. If necessary, you can contact your treating doctor at the hospital or your own doctor for a specific assessment of your risk at your workplace.

 

Guidance for people at higher risk

 

14. Are other countries also vaccinating pregnant women?

Yes, many other countries either offer or recommend the use of covid-19 vaccines in pregnancy – e.g. Norway, USA, Canada, The Netherlands and Sweden.

See which countries vaccinate pregnant women here

 

I'm breastfeeding

1. Why does the Danish Health Authority now recommend vaccination against covid-19?

The Danish Health Authority recommends that breastfeeding and pregnant women be vaccinated. If you are pregnant, we recommend vaccination in the 2nd or 3rd trimester. The same recommendation applies to the booster dose.

Our recommendation is based on a professional assessment of scientific studies, efficacy and side effects data, and advice from experts.

The conclusion is that it is safe and effective for pregnant or breastfeeding women to be vaccinated against covid-19.

 

2. How ill will I get if I become infected with covid-19?

Like other people in their age group, most breastfeeding women will only experience mild symptoms if they become infected with novel coronavirus. 

3. What is known about the efficacy and safety of covid-19 vaccination for breastfeeding women?

The vaccines against covid-19 are effective and safe for breastfeeding women. The vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna offer the same protection in breastfeeding women as they do in everybody else. Vaccination of breastfeeding women has a positive effect on the baby, as the mother’s antibodies are passed on to the baby via the breastmilk.

There is no suspicion that the vaccine is transmitted to the baby via breastmilk.

The health authorities continuously analyse data on the efficacy and safety of the vaccines. There is no indication that vaccination against covid-­19 poses an increased risk for either the mother or baby – either short or long term.

Breastfeeding women are offered the vaccine in the USA and most countries in Europe.

4. Does the vaccines pass through breastmilk?

No, the vaccines do not pass through your breastmilk, but the protective antibodies do. Therefore, vaccination of breastfeeding women protects babies from covid-19.

5. What are the side effects of the vaccines?

All vaccines can cause side effects – including the vaccines against covid-19. Pregnant women may have the same side effects as others after vaccination. In the vast majority of cases, the side effects are mild and transient, and we consider the vaccines to be very safe and well documented.

In the vast majority of cases, the side effects are mild. These mild side effects can be fatigue, headaches and fever, and typically last one or two days. Allergic reactions may occur in rare cases.

Mild side effects

Most people will experience some soreness at the injection site. Other common side effects include fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills, a slight fever, and redness and swelling at the insertion site. In general, these side effects are signs that your body's immune system is reacting to the vaccine. You do not need to call your doctor if you experience these mild and transient side effects. Please do not worry if you are not experiencing any side effects - the vaccines will work regardless of whether you have any side effects or not. 

Most post-vaccination side effects occur within the first six weeks of vaccination, and they very rarely occur later. Both Danish and European health authorities monitor the vaccines closely after they are approved – both in terms of how effective they are and how many side effects they cause.

Rare side effects

Very few people get rare side effects such as severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), which may be caused by, for example, allergies to the additives in the vaccines.

If you have previously had a severe allergic reaction immediately after being vaccinated or after being injected with a medicinal product, you should contact your doctor before being vaccinated against covid-19. If you have known allergies to macrogols/PEG/polyethylene glycol, you should not be vaccinated with the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

Read more about reported side effects for covid-19 vaccines at Danish Medicines Agency


6. Which vaccine will I be given?

The two COVID-19 vaccines we use in Denmark are the vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. You will be given both doses with either one of these vaccines.

Read more about the two vaccines on the Danish Health Authority's website:

COVID-19 vaccines in Denmark

 

7. What should I do if I am breastfeeding and wish to be vaccinated?

If you wish to be vaccinated, you can book an appointment at vacciner.dk for vaccination at a regional vaccination centre. 

Vacciner.dk

At the vaccination centre:

  • You will be given information material on the vaccination of pregnant and breastfeeding women, which you will have the opportunity to read at the vaccination centre.
  • The vaccinator will then talk to you about the vaccination itself – including efficacy and side effects.
  • You must confirm that you consent to the procedure based on the information you have been given.
  • You can now get vaccinated.
  • Like everyone else who gets vaccinated, you must remain seated for observation until 15 minutes have elapsed after you have been vaccinated.
 

8. Are there other countries vaccinating breastfeeding women?

Yes, many other countries either offer or recommend the use of covid-19 vaccines for breastfeeding women. 

See which countries vaccinate breastfeeding women here

 

I don't want to be vaccinated

1. What if I do not want to be vaccinated?

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and do not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19, it is essential that you follow the Danish Health Authority’s advice on preventing infection – especially while you are trying to conceive. It is vital that you protect yourself and your baby and reduce the risk of becoming infected.

Learn more

General guidance on how to prevent the spread of infection

Guidance for people at higher risk

2. Can I be vaccinated after I have given birth or have stopped breastfeeding?

Yes! If you did not accept the offer of vaccination when you received the invitation via your e-Boks, you still have the option to be vaccinated later.

Updated 22 DEC 2021