What should I know about COVID-19 vaccines if I’m pregnant?
Vaccination is probably the best way to prevent COVID-19 during pregnancy, when the chances of serious illness and death from the virus are higher than usual.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says COVID-19 vaccinations should not be denied to pregnant women, and women should discuss the individual risks and benefits with their health care providers.
The U.S. government’s emergency clearance for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines being rolled out to priority groups does not mention pregnancy as a reason to suspend vaccines.
But the OB-GYN group says women should see their doctors because COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnant women. The evidence regarding safety and efficacy is reassuring from studies that inadvertently included women who were unaware they were pregnant at the time of enrollment.
Further answers are expected from future research, including a study by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech which is expected to start early this year and which will include pregnant women.
Experts say there is no reason to believe the two licensed vaccines would harm fetuses. They could even protect them from the development of COVID-19, although this has not yet been proven, said Dr Denise Jamieson, chair of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine. .
This thinking stems in part from experience with influenza and pertussis vaccines, which are approved for use during pregnancy and which protect newborns and their mothers against the development of these diseases.
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