How soon after childbirth can you have a Covid-19 vaccine?

7 September 2021

We have been asked by readers how long somebody should wait after giving birth before having a Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccines are recommended at any stage of pregnancy or any time following childbirth. 

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) guidance states that “Women in the immediate postpartum period should be offered vaccination in line with the general (non-pregnant) population.”

The Public Health England (PHE) Green Book, which provides the latest information on vaccines and vaccinations, states: “Women who are planning pregnancy or in the immediate postpartum should be vaccinated with a suitable product for their age and clinical risk group.”

PHE confirmed to Full Fact that women can have the vaccines at any time during pregnancy or after birth. 

We have also been asked if this guidance is any different following a caesarean section. A  PHE spokesperson told Full Fact there is “no difference in advice following caesarean section”.

PHE and the NHS state that the risk of Covid-19 in pregnancy is greatest later in pregnancy. Therefore RCOG recommends that where possible, women should receive both doses before giving birth, or before entering the third trimester. 

We’ve written more about Covid-19 vaccines in pregnancy and when breastfeeding.

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.

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.