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Pregnant or Planning to Become Pregnant? Here’s What You Need to Know about the COVID-19 Vaccine

 

Pregnant women may be at an increased risk for developing more severe cases of COVID-19, and if they contract the illness, they could face complications such as pre-term birth. You may be wondering if it’s safe to get the vaccine.

Is The Vaccine Safe For Pregnancy?

The available data shows the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are safe. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Fetal Medicine both recommend pregnant and lactating people get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to protect against infection. The CDC also recommends the vaccine for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or wish to become pregnant in the future.

“As more data emerges, it has become clear the vaccine is safe and effective for our pregnant patients. We recommend everyone who is eligible, including pregnant patients, to get vaccinated, especially as new variants spread in our communities,” said Christian Pettker, MD, chief of obstetrics at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Ob/Gyn Romelle Maloney, MD, of Northeast Medical Group, said when patients are considering the vaccine, it’s important for them to understand that they’re at an increased risk for developing more severe cases of COVID-19, which could include needing ICU care.

“Follow the science. We know that this virus causes severe disease in pregnant women. Three times as much as people who are not pregnant,” Dr. Maloney said.

In addition, data suggests the vaccine may also be beneficial for the baby. A study in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology studied pregnant and lactating women. Antibodies were discovered in umbilical cord blood and breast milk, which indicates the vaccine may offer protection to both the mother and baby.

Is The Vaccine Safe If I Want To Become Pregnant?

The COVID-19 vaccine is also recommended for patients who plan to become pregnant in the future. As with any new scientific breakthrough, the vaccine is the target of misinformation. If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are currently breastfeeding it is important that you speak with your doctor who can provide you with the latest information surrounding the vaccine in order to avoid misinformation.

Safety data reported to the FDA for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines show the same numbers of people got pregnant in the vaccine group as the placebo group during clinical trials. Among the people who got pregnant in both studies, there were only a few adverse pregnancy outcomes, and those participants were in the placebo group and did not receive the actual vaccine.

“Some women may be worried the vaccine could impact fertility, especially for those women who are trying to get pregnant right now. But the research shows that the vaccine did not negatively impact pregnancy outcomes for those involved in the trial and there is no scientific basis for such rumors,” Dr. Pettker said.

COVID-19 Safety For Pregnant Patients

If you are pregnant and get the vaccine, you should still continue to follow infection prevention protocols. According to the CDC, pregnant patients should limit their interactions with people who might have been exposed to COVID-19, always wear a mask in crowded spaces and avoid activities where it’s difficult to stay six feet apart from others. In addition, pregnant patients should get vaccinated against the flu and stay up to date with all necessary healthcare appointments.

Learn more about COVID-19 prevention for pregnant patients