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Janssen - Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Can pregnant or breastfeeding women receive the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine?

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12/9/2021

Animal studies show no harmful effects of COVID-19 Janssen vaccine during pregnancy. However, data on the use of COVID-19 Janssen vaccine during pregnancy are very limited. There are no studies of COVID-19 Janssen vaccine on lactation, but no risk from lactation is expected.

While pregnancy puts women at higher risk of severe COVID-19, very little data are available to assess vaccine safety in pregnancy. Pregnant women may receive the vaccine if the benefit of vaccinating a pregnant woman outweighs the potential vaccine risks. For this reason, pregnant women at high risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (e.g. health workers) or who have comorbidities which add to their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated in consultation with their health care provider.

Breastfeeding offers substantial health benefits to lactating women and their breastfed children. Vaccine effectiveness is expected to be similar in lactating women as in other adults. Data are not available on the potential benefits or risks of the vaccine to breastfed children. However, as Ad26.COV2.S is not a live virus vaccine, it is biologically and clinically unlikely to pose a risk to the breastfeeding child. On the basis of these considerations, WHO recommends the use of Ad26.COV2.S in lactating women as in other adults. WHO does not recommend discontinuing breastfeeding because of vaccination.

  • Pregnant women at high risk of COVID-19 may be vaccinated in consultation with their health care provider.

  • Breastfeeding women may be vaccinated.

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