Data on the use of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy and lactation are still very limited; however, laboratory studies on animal models have not shown harmful effects. In particular, the vaccines are not contraindicated and do not exclude a priori pregnant women from vaccination, in that pregnancy, especially if combined with other risk factors such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity, could make them more exposed to risk in case of severe COVID-19 disease.
As for breastfeeding, despite the lack of specific studies, there is no biologically plausible risk preventing them from continuing breastfeeding. The Italian National Health Institute (Istituto Superiore di Sanità), through the ItOSS project, is participating in the national and international debate on these aspects and has recently published a document with the aim of supporting healthcare professionals, pregnant and breastfeeding women in the decision-making process regarding vaccination. As a rule, vaccination during pregnancy and breastfeeding should be decided in close consultation with a healthcare professional, after balancing benefits and risks.