Can Pregnant Women Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?
|Can Pregnant Women Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?|
Experts in the U.S. maintain that the benefits likely outweigh the risks, so it’s worth seriously considering getting the vaccine—even if you’re pregnant. Howver, the World Health Organization updated its website this week to recommend against pregnant people getting the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. “While pregnancy puts women at a higher risk of severe COVID-19, the use of this vaccine in pregnant women is currently not recommended, unless they are at risk of high exposure (e.g. health workers),” the site reads. And regarding the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the WHO says that “due to insufficient data, WHO does not recommend the vaccination of pregnant women at this time.”
In response to the WHO update, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) said in a statement that they will “continue to stress that both COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should not be withheld from pregnant inpiduals who choose to receive the vaccine.”
So any discussion of the possible unknown risks associated with the vaccines needs to be properly weighed against the risks to pregnant people that—we are beginning to understand more and more clearly—can come with COVID-19.
Ultimately, getting a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant can be a complex, confusing, and personal decision. It should be based on your inpidual risk factors for severe COVID-19 outcomes and pregnancy complications as well as how likely you are to be exposed. So it’s a decision that deserves to be discussed carefully and thoroughly with a health care professional—and not dismissed outright.