Should you get the COVID-19 vaccine if you’re pregnant? 5 key things to know
As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out to the general population, many pregnant women are wondering if they should get the vaccine.
Here are some key things you should know about the vaccine if you’re pregnant:
1. Should the vaccine be withheld from pregnant women?
Vaccination is likely the best way to prevent COVID-19 in pregnancy, when risks for severe illness and death from the virus are higher than usual.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says COVID-19 vaccinations should not be withheld from pregnant women, and that women should discuss individual risks and benefits with their health care providers.
The U.S. government’s emergency authorization for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines being rolled out for priority groups doesn’t list pregnancy as a reason to withhold the shots.
2. Consult your doctor!
But the OB-GYN group says women should consult their doctors, since COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnant women. Evidence about safety and effectiveness is reassuring from studies that inadvertently included some women who didn't know they were pregnant when they enrolled.
3. When will studies in pregnant women start?
More answers are expected from upcoming research, including a study by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech expected to start early this year that will include pregnant women.
Below is what Dr. Anthony Fauci had to say about vaccine studies on pregnant women:
4. Will the vaccine harm the fetus?
Experts say there’s no reason to think the two authorized vaccines would harm fetuses. They might even protect them from developing COVID-19, although that hasn't yet been proven, said Dr. Denise Jamieson, chair of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine.
That thinking comes in part from experience with vaccines for influenza and whooping cough, which are approved for use in pregnancy and protect newborns and their mothers from developing those diseases.
Get answers to the most common COVID-19 vaccine questions HERE.
5. What are the World Health Organization recommendations?
World Health Organization said while pregnancy does put women at a higher risk of severe COVID-19, the use of the Moderna vaccine in pregnant women is currently not recommended – unless they are at risk of high exposure. Learn more about the recommendation here.
An Associated Press report contributed to this guide.