NORFOLK, Va. – Data suggests it is safe for pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to an infectious disease expert.
“There's no reason to think that any of the three vaccines are not safe to use in pregnancy,” said Dr. Petri, an infectious disease expert at the University of Virginia.
“There's been 30,000 pregnant women now who have chosen to receive the vaccine,” said Dr. Petri. “When you compare the rate of miscarriage for the women that have been vaccinated versus the expected rate, it's no different.”
Pregnant women were not studied in the clinical trials leading to the approve of the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccines. However, the Centers for Disease Control says, “there is currently no evidence that antibodies formed from COVID-19 vaccination cause any problem with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta.”
Dr. Petri said the babies of women who received the vaccine while pregnant were born with some degree of immunity to the virus.
“The antibodies that are made in the mother's bloodstream actually pass through the placenta into the baby, and so the baby receives those antibodies,” explained Dr. Petri. “The breast milk from the mother who's vaccinated has IgA antibodies, a different kind of antibody, also against the COVID virus. And so by nursing the baby, you're also providing protection.”
Pregnant women should consult with their doctors about vaccination.