Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for pregnant women?

(U.S.) – A clarification regarding the World Health Organization’s recommendation for pregnant women when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine.

The organization has explained that it still “recommends not to use” vaccines for expectant mothers unless the women are either at a high risk of COVID-19 exposure or facing underlying health conditions.

However, some have expressed concern with the W.H.O.’s position on the COVID-19 vaccine noting it does not correlate with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new section of the document including the details of the W.H.O’s position does not specifically recommend against pregnant women using the vaccines, “based on what we know about this kind of vaccine, we don’t have any specific reason to believe there will be specific risks that would outweigh the benefits of vaccination for pregnant women.”

Traditionally, pregnant women have been excluded from clinical trials, however, pregnant women have often been urged to vaccinate for other illnesses such as influenza since the 1960s despite the lack of clinical testing. Officials indicate the vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have not been tested on pregnant women, but have shown no harmful effects in animal studies.

Pfizer indicated a plan to begin testing the vaccine in pregnant women over the next few months.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine all have agreed that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to pregnant and breastfeeding women who are eligible for vaccinations

 

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