COVID-19 Vaccine in Pregnancy/Lactation Update – 3/9/2021

Pregnant women were not included in pre-authorization clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccines. Since authorization, observational data collected by the CDC on over 30,000 pregnant women has not shown any unexpected adverse maternal or fetal outcomes.

The mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are not live virus vaccines.  These vaccines do not enter the cell nucleus so cannot cause genetic changes.  There are currently animal and reproductive toxology studies happening, and trials that are beginning that include pregnant women.

Currently statements from The Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM), the CDC, and the American Congress of OB/GYN (ACOG) recommend considering the vaccine for pregnant or lactating patients who meet criteria for vaccination according to ACIP-priority groups.  If you are pregnant or lactating and are part of a group that is recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine you may choose to be vaccinated.

Some have suggested waiting to get vaccinated until after the first trimester to avoid association with miscarriage (though miscarriage rates for women receiving the vaccine are the same as background rates of miscarriage) and to avoid fever in the first trimester. This suggestion is not evidence-based but seems reasonable.

 

When deciding whether to get the vaccine, it is important to consider factors including:

-The level of the COVID-19 in your community

-Your personal risk of exposure to the virus (i.e. health care worker, essential workers)

-The risk of COVID-19 to maternal and fetal health (increased risk for severe illness, ICU stay, need for respirator, maternal death)

-Safety and efficacy of the vaccine

-Side effects of the vaccine (injection site reactions, fatigue, fever, muscle/joint pain, headaches).  Side effects typically resolve within three days.  If you are pregnant and develop fever as a side effect, Tylenol is recommended for treatment.

 

Further information can be found using these links:

ACOG

https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/practice-advisory/articles/2020/12/vaccinating-pregnant-and-lactating-patients-against-covid-19

SMFM

https://www.highriskpregnancyinfo.org/covid-19

CDC

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html

Please let your provider know if you would like further guidance on whether to get vaccinated.

We do not currently have any information on when our office will receive the vaccine.

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