Federal health officials on Wednesday reiterated their recommendation to vaccinate pregnant people against Covid-19, citing new safety data that revealed no increased risk of miscarriage in those vaccinated in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Previous research found similar reassuring data for those vaccinated later in pregnancy.
So far, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said the vaccine could be offered during pregnancy; The latest update to the guidelines strengthens the official recommendations and encourages pregnant people to get vaccinated.
The new policy aligns the CDC with the recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other medical groups who strongly recommend vaccination.
“At the moment, the benefits of vaccination and the known risks of Covid during pregnancy and the high transmission rates outweigh all theoretical risks of the vaccine at the moment,” says Sascha R. Ellington, epidemiologist who heads the emergency team in the reproductive health department at the CDC
The risks of developing Covid-19 during pregnancy are known, she said, and include serious illness, ICU admission, the need for mechanical ventilation, premature birth and death.
So far, there is limited data on birth outcomes, she added, as the vaccine has only been available since December. But the small number of pregnancies that have been followed to the end has not identified any safety signals.
Pregnant women were not included in clinical trials with the vaccines, and vaccination uptake was low in pregnant women. The majority of pregnant women seem reluctant to be vaccinated: only 23 percent of pregnant women had received one or more vaccinations in May, according to a recent study.
Dr. Adam Urato, a maternal and fetal medicine specialist in Framingham, Massachusetts who advises patients about the vaccine almost daily, said pregnant women were very careful about exposure to synthetic chemicals and wanted more solid scientific evidence of the vaccine’s safety.
“The only question my patients ask me all the time is, are we absolutely sure that these vaccines won’t harm my baby?” He said.
Comments are closed.