With the coronavirus still raging on around the world, the question on everyone’s mind is how to best protect themselves. Whether old or young, male or female, the COVID-19 virus is affecting people of all ages, genders, races, and geographical locations. What many want to know is how their specific situation can negatively or positively affect their ability to fight off the virus.
Some health predispositions may respond favorably or unfavorably, based on current and swiftly developing research. Once COVID-19 vaccines were created and released in late 2020, a question with global impact was the safety of the vaccine, as it was put on the market quickly and without prior approval from the Federal Drug Administration. Specifically, when the vaccine was first released, there had been virtually no research on how it could affect women who were pregnant or breastfeeding.
Now that the vaccine has been available for several months, new research has emerged citing whether the vaccine is safe for this specific demographic group. Read on to discover everything you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines and how they affect women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
With the vaccine now available globally and with enough time lapsed for scientists to continue researching its safety, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) now recommends that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding get the COVID-19 vaccine. It suggests that this will help to protect you from a more severe case if you do contract the virus. The CDC recently analyzed 2500 pregnant women to detect the vaccine’s impact on their pregnancy and the overall health of their unborn children.
These women have received either a Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine at some stage before 20 weeks of pregnancy. The results revealed that the rate of miscarriage was around 13%, in line with the standard 11-16%. This research would then suggest that the COVID-19 vaccine does not have any increased negative impact on pregnancy or pose a threat to pregnant women or their unborn infants.
Additional safety monitoring protocol from the CDC also revealed that the vaccine should be safe for women who get vaccinated later on in their pregnancy. Beyond the CDC, two leading expert organizations in obstetric and gynecology, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM), both recommend the vaccine to all pregnant women.
“ACOG encourages its members to enthusiastically recommend vaccination to their patients. This means emphasizing the known safety of the vaccines and the increased risk of severe complications associated with COVID-19 infection, including death, during pregnancy,” said J. Martin Tucker, MD, FACOG, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “It is clear that pregnant people need to feel confident in the decision to choose vaccination, and a strong recommendation from their obstetrician-gynecologist could make a meaningful difference for many pregnant people.”
William Grobman, MD, MBA, president of the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine, had something similar to say. “COVID-19 vaccination is the best method to reduce maternal and fetal complications of COVID-19 infection among pregnant people,” said Grobman.
“ACOG is recommending the vaccination of pregnant individuals because we have evidence of the safe and effective use of the vaccine during pregnancy from many tens of thousands of reporting individuals because we know that COVID-19 infection puts pregnant people at increased risk of severe complications, and because it is clear from the current vaccination rates that people need to feel confident in the safety and protective value of the COVID-19 vaccines,” Tucker went on to say. “Pregnant individuals should feel confident that choosing COVID-19 vaccination not only protects them but also protects their families and communities.”