Local doctors recommend COVID vaccines for pregnant women

COVID-19 vaccine guidance for pregnant women

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Some expectant mothers are looking for guidance about whether they should get a COVID-19 vaccine.

And some of the information out there is somewhat conflicting.

Data on the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women is limited, since expectant mothers were excluded from clinical trials of the vaccines.

But a recent study shows more than 35,000 pregnant women have not had any negative outcomes from getting a COVID vaccine, so far.

And some local doctors say they would recommend the shot to their own pregnant patients.

A new study from the New England Journal of Medicine shows doctors using data from three sources: the “V-Safe After Vaccination Health Checker” surveillance system, the V-Safe Pregnancy Registry, and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

They looked at the safety of MRNA COVID-19 vaccines like the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in pregnant woman.

“When they looked at every outcome, what they saw is that women who had been vaccinated with either vaccine, their babies were just as healthy as women who were not vaccinated. They looked at birth defects, for example, found zero birth defects in women who’d received the vaccine during pregnancy,” said Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases at UAB, Dr. Jodi Dionne-Odom.

Dr. Dionne-Odom says since pregnancy seems to be a risk factor for having more severe cases of COVID, more expectant mothers should be rolling up their sleeves.

“So, if you take the increased risk of the disease and you have information that shows that the vaccination is safe, and we have emerging information that the vaccine is not only safe for women, but those antibodies pass through the placenta and give the baby some new protection when they’re newborns, it passes through the breastmilk, gives the baby some protection with the breastmilk, all of this together is very reassuring,” Dr. Dionne-Odom explained.

She says researchers are still following these women and there is still more to learn about vaccines in pregnancy.

But she says she is recommending the vaccines to her pregnant patients and advises other patients to seek information from their healthcare providers.

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