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KFF: The Lingering Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy

June 03, 2022

Misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy remains a considerable public health challenge, according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor.

Notably, more than seven in 10 people who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant believe or are unsure about at least one piece of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy.

“More than two years into the pandemic, there’s a surprising amount of confusion about the vaccine’s safety for pregnant women,” said Mollyann Brodie, KFF executive vice president and executive director of the Public Opinion and Survey Research Program.

Here's what you need to know:

  • The spread of misinformation:  Among those who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, 24 percent incorrectly believe pregnant women should not get a COVID-19 vaccine and 37 percent are not sure if it is true.
    • 16 percent wrongly believe the COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to cause infertility
    • 17 percent wrongly believe it is unsafe for women who are breastfeeding to get a vaccine
  • Larger misperception:  About 53 percent of adults say they are confident vaccines are safe during pregnancy or for those who are trying to conceive. That’s compared to about 72 percent who are confident they are safe for the general public.
  • Quotable:  “The fact that so many younger women incorrectly believe the vaccines can cause infertility or that they’re not safe for pregnant women highlights the real challenges facing public health officials,” Brodie said.

The KFF monitor uses surveys and qualitative data to assess the public’s attitudes about COVID-19 vaccines. The latest monitor was conducted during May among a representative sample of adults.

HAP joins public health organizations across the county highlighting the safety and efficacy of the available COVID-19 vaccines, especially for those who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. HAP encourages anyone with questions about the vaccines to contact their health care provider for additional guidance and resources.

More information about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines is available online.