expected from a vaccine,” according to Dr. Linda Eckert, senior author and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University.
Eckert says she hopes the new study will reassure pregnant women.
“Not only is the vaccine safe, our research shows just how well the vaccine is tolerated in pregnant individuals — which is a common fear I hear from my patients,” she says. “In contrast, we are continuing to learn more and more about just how dangerous COVID-19 infections are in pregnancy.”
As of now, 20,000 women are enrolled in the ongoing study and new respondents continue to post comments about their experiences.
Eckert says the study shows that pregnant women tolerate the vaccine well and should be included in clinical trials for other relevant vaccines.
“I think this gives a level of evidence to advocate for Phase 3 trials [for pregnant individuals] in the future,” she said.
What to consider
If you are pregnant and considering getting vaccinated, you should discuss the following with your doctor, according to Harvard Health Publishing:
- Get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available to you. If you have additional risk factors for severe complications from COVID-19 (such as high blood pressure or obesity), multiple potential exposures to COVID-19 from your work, your family, or your community you should get vaccinated as soon as possible.
- Wait until after you give birth to get the vaccine. If pregnancy is your only risk factor for severe disease, and you are able to control your exposure by limiting interactions with people outside of your household and using protective measures (mask-wearing, handwashing, and physical distancing) then you may be able to delay vaccination until after you give birth.
- Consider ways to modify your exposures to COVID-19 and possibly “defer” getting the vaccine. You may decide to modify your exposures if possible and “defer” vaccination until the second trimester, when the natural risk of miscarriage is lower. You may also opt to delay vaccination until after the baby is born.
- Wait for a traditional vaccine similar to the flu shot or Tdap vaccine. These vaccines are in development but are not yet approved in the US. Experts have more knowledge of how these types of vaccines work in women who are pregnant. However, depending on your exposure to COVID-19 and your risk for getting seriously ill if you get infected, it may be wise to accept the COVID-19 vaccines that are available at this time.
The CDC recommends that pregnant or postpartum women schedule their vaccine at least 14 days before or 14 days after receiving any other vaccination, such as a flu shot or Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccine.
Overall, although there are still some questions that need answers, COVID-19 vaccines have potential benefits for pregnant women and women looking to get pregnant in the future. You should make the appropriate decision for the health of you and your child based on research and the advice of your doctor.