Pregnant Women Can Get COVID-19 Vaccine
December 18, 2020 – Pregnant women or nursing mothers who want the COVID-19 vaccine should get one, experts say.
This is true even though there is a lack of safety data in these groups, according to advice from the CDC, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
Pregnant women who choose not to receive the vaccine should also be supported in this decision, a practice advisory from ACOG recommends.
Additionally, women don’t need to avoid getting pregnant after receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC. The FDA issued an Emergency Use Clearance (EUA) for the vaccine on December 11.
Although investigators excluded pregnant women from clinical vaccine trials, experts believe that mRNA vaccines, which are not live vaccines, “are unlikely to pose a risk to pregnant women” and “are not not considered a risk to the breastfed infant, ”the CDC notes.
At the same time, pregnant women may be at greater risk of severe COVID-19, even though the absolute risk of serious illness is low. COVID-19 can also increase the risk of serious pregnancy outcomes, such as premature labor.
“If pregnant women are part of a group that is recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine (eg, healthcare workers), they may choose to be vaccinated,” says the CDC. Patients can speak to their health care provider if they need more information, the guide says.
Recognize side effects and uncertainty
The ACOG opinion supports this approach. The group notes that although the vaccine has not been tested in pregnant women, they expect the safety profile to be similar to that of the other groups. But they added as a caveat that “there is no specific safety data for the use of the mRNA vaccine in pregnant or breastfeeding women and the potential risks to a pregnant person and the fetus are unknown.”
In clinical trials, some participants experienced mild flu-like symptoms after vaccination, including reactions instead of the injection, fatigue, chills, muscle and joint pain, and headaches. In participants aged 18 to 55 years, fever greater than 100.4 F occurred in 3.7% of people after the first dose and in 15.8% after the second dose. Most of the symptoms were gone within a few days.
Pregnant women should treat fever with acetaminophen, as “fever has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes,” according to ACOG guidelines. The drug is safe to use during pregnancy and does not appear to affect the vaccine. Patients can also treat other side effects of the vaccine, such as pain where they were vaccinated, with acetaminophen.
More data expected
Data from animal studies are expected soon, according to the CDC. In addition, the manufacturer of the drug is tracking people who have taken part in clinical trials and who became pregnant during the study.
Pregnant women and their doctors should weigh such things as the extent of transmission of COVID-19 in the community, the risk for the patient of contracting COVID-19, the risks of COVID-19 for the patient and the baby. , the effectiveness of the vaccine and its side effects, and the lack of data on COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.
The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers have access to COVID-19 vaccines in general and has advocated including these groups in vaccine trials. The company suggested that healthcare professionals “advise their patients that the theoretical risk of fetal harm from mRNA vaccines is very low.” He posted resources for doctors and patients this week focusing on COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy.
In a review published online Dec. 10 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology MFM, Amanda M. Craig, MD, of Duke University Health System in Durham, NC, and her coauthors note that “there is a theoretical risk of fetal harm associated with any untested medical intervention and it is no different for COVID-19 vaccines. “
“Pregnant women should be given the opportunity, with their obstetric service provider, to weigh the potential risk of serious maternal disease against the unknown risk of fetal exposure, and to make an independent decision on whether or not to accept the vaccine until. ‘that data on the safety of pregnancy are available., “they write.
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