News Releases

News Releases

DHEC Supports CDC Report on Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines for Pregnant People and Their Babies

February 16, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Tuesday in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that an initial COVID-19 two-dose vaccine series during pregnancy can help prevent COVID-19 hospitalizations among infants under six months of age in addition to the protection the vaccine offers for pregnant people. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) supports this scientific study and encourages all pregnant people across the state to get their COVID-19 vaccination.

“We have known for a while that a COVID-19 vaccination is completely safe and effective for pregnant people,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Public Health Director. “This latest news from CDC is exciting because it not only confirms the benefits for those who are pregnant, but it highlights the benefits for their babies as well. We strongly encourage expectant individuals to get vaccinated and provide that added layer of protection to their babies. Even once the COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use in the youngest group of children, infants will have to be six months old before they can receive it. The protection passed to a baby from their vaccinated mother during pregnancy can help protect them until they are old enough for vaccination.”

The CDC report can be viewed here. Here are some key details:

  • The CDC study, which included 379 infants across 20 pediatric hospitals, found that a two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for pregnant people was 61 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 hospitalizations in their infants under 6 months of age. 
  • Among the 176 infants less than six months old who were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the study, 84% (148) of them were born to mothers who were not vaccinated during pregnancy. 
  • COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for persons who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future.

If you are pregnant and have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, please talk with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. It’s important to get answers to your questions so you’re able to make an informed, personal health decision for you and your baby.

In addition to those who are pregnant, DHEC continues recommending vaccinations for ages 5 and up and booster shots for those who are eligible. Find a vaccination site near you on our vaccine locator or by calling our Care Line at 1-855-472-3432.



COVID-19 Vaccine Media Relations Statewide