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COVID Vaccine For Pregnant Women: Is It Safe?

COVID Vaccine For Pregnant Women: Is It Safe?

If you are pregnant, have been pregnant for the last 42 days, or are breastfeeding (recently pregnant), you may be concerned about you and your baby getting COVID-19. You may also have questions about the safety of the COVID vaccine for pregnant women. These are what you need to know.

Risk of COVID-19 During Pregnancy

The overall risk of pregnant women getting COVID-19 is low. However, women who are recently or currently pregnant are at increased risk of serious illness due to COVID-19. Serious illness means that you may need to go the hospital so you can breathe, receive intensive care, or wear a ventilator. Pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to give a premature birth before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy. They are also at an increased risk of problems such as miscarriage.

Some studies suggest that pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to have a Caesarean section. Also, their infants are more likely to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider immediately, and have a test for the COVID-19 virus. Before you go to your appointment, call your doctor or the hospital to let them know in advance your symptoms and potential exposure.

If you have COVID-19 and are pregnant, treatment should not only relieve symptoms such as drinking plenty of fluids and resting. It is advisable to take medications to reduce fever, relieve pain and relieve cough. If you are very ill, you may need to be treated in a hospital.

Is there an available COVID vaccine for pregnant women?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved of the COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended for pregnant and lactating individuals, as well as individuals who are about to become pregnant or want to become pregnant. In the Philippines, however, doctors recommend against using the Gamaleya vaccine on pregnant and breastfeeding women.

WHO recommends that pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine if the benefits of vaccination of pregnant women outweigh the potential risks. To help pregnant women make this decision, they need to be informed of the risk of COVID-19 during pregnancy, the potential benefits of vaccination, and the current safety data for pregnant women. WHO does not recommend pre-vaccination pregnancy tests. WHO does not recommend delaying or terminating pregnancy due to vaccination.

Talk to your doctor to discuss all the factors related to COVID vaccine for pregnant women. The recommendations are based on these considerations:

  • Pregnant women infected with COVID-19 are at a higher risk of getting seriously ill. There is also a higher risk for complications and death than non-pregnant women. Many pregnant women already have a medical condition that poses a greater risk.
  • COVID-19, especially the Delta variant, is growing in many communities.
  • Over 200,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated with the mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) without safety concerns.

Why is it important for pregnant people to get vaccinated?

The data clearly show that the benefits of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks of becoming pregnant or becoming pregnant in the future.

The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released data showing the highest number of COVID-19-related deaths in the month of August 2021. The data also show that 97% of pregnant people were hospitalized for either illness or labor and childbirth. Those confirmed to have a SARS-CoV-2 infection were unvaccinated.

Vaccines are also safe for lactating mothers. There has been research about breastfeeding before and after vaccination. These studies found that the antibody could be transferred to breast milk and protected for the baby.

Will the COVID vaccine for pregnant women cause miscarriage?

The data we have about the COVID vaccine is that it does NOT increase the risk of miscarriage. On the other hand, COVID infection increases the risk. Therefore, vaccination reduces the risk of serious COVID infection and thus the risk of miscarriage.

Miscarriage is very common and occurs in 15-30% of pregnancies. Many often worry when a miscarriage occurs, think that they did something that caused the miscarriage. This is rare. Serious health complications during pregnancy are at risk of miscarriage and preterm birth, and preterm birth puts the baby at risk of health complications. This is why it is so important to prevent serious COVID disease during pregnancy. Therefore, women who think they are protecting their babies by not vaccinating are at much more risk. If you become infected with COVID during pregnancy, you may actually endanger your baby by not vaccinating.

Consult your doctor.

Learn more about Mother Care here.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html Accessed Oct. 14, 2021

The COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/the-covid19-vaccine-and-pregnancy-what-you-need-to-know Accessed Oct. 14, 2021

The Moderna COVID-19 (mRNA-1273) vaccine: what you need to know, https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/the-moderna-covid-19-mrna-1273-vaccine-what-you-need-to-know Accessed: Oct. 14, 2021

Is the COVID Vaccine Safe for Pregnant People? What About When You Are Breastfeeding?, https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/is-the-covid-vaccine-safe-for-pregnant-people Accessed Oct. 14, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy and Lactation: Current Research and Gaps in Understanding, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcimb.2021.735394/full Accessed Oct. 14, 2021

Pregnancy and COVID-19: What are the risks?, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/pregnancy-and-covid-19/art-20482639 Accessed Oct. 14, 2021

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Written by Fred Layno Updated Oct 19
Fact Checked by Kristel Dacumos-Lagorza