The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted many people. The arrival of the first vaccine brings hope and optimism that we may finally be able to overcome this disease and win the war against this pandemic. As a healthcare worker, I am excited that this vaccine has arrived and its safety profile is impressive and promising. As a Midwife, my concern is for pregnant women, or women who may become pregnant. Here is the latest information about the Covid-19 vaccine and pregnancy according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC):
“Observational data demonstrate that, while the chances for these severe health effects are infrequent, pregnant people with COVID-19 have an increased risk of severe illness, including illness that results in ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, and death. Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 might be at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm births.
Currently, there are limited data available on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people who are pregnant. Animal developmental and reproductive toxicity (DART) studies are ongoing and studies in people who are pregnant are planned. CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have safety monitoring systems in place to capture information about vaccination during pregnancy and will closely monitor reports.
While studies have not yet been done, based on how mRNA vaccines work, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a risk for people who are pregnant. mRNA vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 and therefore cannot give someone COVID-19. Additionally, mRNA vaccines do not interact with genetic material DNA because the mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cell. Cells break apart the mRNA quickly. However, the potential risks of mRNA vaccines to the pregnant person and her fetus are unknown because these vaccines have not been studied in pregnant women.”
At this point, the suggestion from the CDC that I concur with: Speak to your Healthcare provider about your risk and if the vaccine is right for You. There are several things to consider for each woman and individualized recommendations for vaccination are needed.
In the meantime, everyone can practice the recommended guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19:
- Wearing a mask
- Staying at least six feet away from others
- Avoiding crowds
- Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Following CDC travel guidance
- Following quarantine guidance after exposure to COIV-19
- Following any applicable workplace guidance
For the latest information from the CDC go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html
I will provide updates as they become available. Stay Safe and Be Well!