Are COVID vaccines safe for pregnant women?

Local News

(WSYR-TV) — Children as young as 12 have been cleared to get the Coronavirus vaccine. And they’re now testing the Pfizer shots on babies. But what about pregnant women?

Pregnant women were excluded from the clinical trials, but since December when the vaccines were first approved, preliminary results from two continuing studies provide additional encouraging news.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines produce robust immune responses in pregnant and breastfeeding women, and vaccinated women can also pass protective antibodies to their fetuses through the bloodstream and to their infants through breast milk.

Researchers also found no evidence that either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines damaged the placenta during pregnancy. COVID presents serious risks during pregnancy. 

Research has shown, for instance, that pregnant women with coronavirus symptoms are more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit, require mechanical ventilation and to die from the virus than are symptomatic women of a similar age who are not pregnant.

Because of these risks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that the vaccines at least be made available to pregnant people, many of whom have opted to receive the shots.

The findings are encouraging but there are limitations. The women in the studies were in their third trimester and were all health care workers. Data is now being collected on women earlier in pregnancy and in those who got the Johnson and Johnson one-shot vaccine.

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