Health Advice



Benefits of COVID-19 vaccinations extend to newborns

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only around 40% of pregnant women in the U.S. had been vaccinated against COVID-19 as of the first of January 2022. That's unfortunate, according to an article in Nature, because "the data are now solid. They show that the risks of COVID-19 during pregnancy -- including maternal death, stillbirth and premature delivery -- far outweigh the risks of being vaccinated."

Plus, we now know the benefits of the vaccine extend to newborns as well.

Another newly released CDC study found that when mothers-to-be got two shots of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in the first 20 weeks of their pregnancy, their baby was 61% less likely to be admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 in the first six months of life. If the mom got the shots at 21 weeks through 14 days before delivery, the infant was 80% protected from hospitalization with the virus.

Still worried that the vaccine might affect the fetus? Another CDC study that looked at more than 40,000 pregnant women found that COVID-19 vaccination was not associated with a greater incidence of preterm birth or small-for-gestational age at birth when compared with babies born to women who did not get the vaccine while pregnant.

If you are pregnant and unvaccinated, talk with your obstetrician about the benefits of the vaccination to you and your fetus. Also, discuss the minor risks (it is never zero). Then you can make a decision that will best protect you and your newborn from severe illness.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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