Can you have a shorter gap between Covid-19 vaccines in pregnancy?

15 September 2021

We’ve been asked on Whatsapp whether being pregnant means you can have a shorter gap than eight weeks between Covid-19 vaccine doses.

We asked NHS England this question and it referred us to the Public Health England (PHE) Green Book, which provides the latest information on vaccinations.

It says that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (which advises the government on such matters) is currently recommending, in general, a minimum interval of eight weeks between doses of all the available Covid-19 vaccines “where a two-dose primary schedule is used” because, it says, “longer intervals are likely to provide more durable protection”. 

It adds: “Operationally, this consistent interval should be used for all vaccines with a two-dose primary schedule to avoid confusion and simplify booking, and will help to ensure a good balance between achieving rapid and long-lasting protection. 

“The main exception to the eight week lower interval would be those about to commence immunosuppressive treatment.”

The Green Book then explains the minimum intervals between doses of the Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines, according to the manufacturers. These are 21 days, 4 weeks, and 28 days apart respectively. 

The Green Book does not state that pregnancy is an exception to the eight week interval.

In July, government guidance was updated to recommend that all adults had an eight week gap between vaccines, rather than a 12 week gap as previously stated. 

In a letter, Keith Willett, the senior responsible officer for vaccine deployment, said that any decision to vaccinate earlier than eight weeks “should be made by the patient’s responsible clinician or vaccination site clinical lead on a case-by-case basis and must be based on clinical risks and benefits of giving the second dose earlier than eight weeks.”

If you’re pregnant and have any concerns about the gap between your Covid-19 vaccines you should speak to your GP.

The information included in this article contains the latest evidence and official guidance available at the time it was written. This is not a substitute for medical advice. If you require specific medical advice please consult your GP or midwife.

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