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September 30, 2021
This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a Health Advisory to urge people who are pregnant, recently pregnant or trying to become pregnant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant are people has been widely discussed since the vaccine first became available last winter.
Is the vaccine safe for pregnant people?
According to the CDC, no adverse pregnancy-related outcomes occurred in clinical trials for all three of the COVID-19 vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – which also included adverse outcomes affecting the baby.
Pregnant people enrolled in the v-safe pregnancy registry who were vaccinated before 20 weeks of pregnancy also did not find an increased risk for miscarriage or any other adverse events.
What are the benefits of pregnant people receiving the vaccine?
The first obvious benefit is protection against the COVID-19 virus. Vaccination lowers the risk of infection.
Also, people who receive COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy will develop antibodies against COVID-19, just like non-pregnant people. Those antibodies will also be transferred to the babies, similar to those produced with other vaccines, which can provide the baby protection from COVID-19.
What are the risks pregnant people face with COVID-19?
Pregnant people are considered an increased risk for COVID-19 when compared to non-pregnant people. According to the CDC, as of September 27, more than 125,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in pregnant people, including more than 22,000 hospitalized cases and 161 deaths. Data showed that approximately 97% of pregnant people hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated.
There is also increased risk of adverse events such as stillbirth, preterm birth and admissions to an intensive care unit.
Unfortunately, despite the known risks of COVID-19 in pregnant people, only 31% of pregnant people were fully vaccinated before or during their pregnancy as of September 18, according to the CDC.
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