This article was medically reviewed by Carolyn Swenson, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the United States and member of the Preventive Medicine Review Board.
Since the advent of the COVID-19 vaccine, people have been confused about whether they are safe for pregnant women. Reason: Early clinical trials of the vaccine did not include pregnant or breastfeeding women, so it is impossible to determine whether it can be safely immunized.
Reminder: According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women are at increased risk of serious illnesses such as COVID-1
The leading infectious disease expert in the United States, Anthony Fauci, MD, said at a recent press conference that clinical trials for pregnant women (and children) are ongoing, so we should get more clear answers as soon as possible. Dr. Fauci said that during this period, approximately 20,000 pregnant women received the COVID-19 vaccine “without red flags”.
These revelations are promising, but if you are pregnant (or a loved one), you may still be wondering whether vaccinating pregnant women is a good idea. This is what you need to know.
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
The CDC says that both Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and Moderna vaccine use a newer technology called messenger RNA (mRNA), which is the genetic material of the virus. (Note: This is not the virus itself, but the genetic code of the virus. The vaccine will Is not Make you feel unwell to COVID-19. )
mRNA can tell your body how to make spike protein, which the new coronavirus can use to lock human cells. When your body starts to extract the spike protein, your system treats it as a heterologous source and produces antibodies specific to the coronavirus. Eventually, your body will eliminate protein and mRNA at the same time, but antibodies will stick together to protect you from COVID-19 in the future.
What do public health organizations think about getting the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
This is confusing. Both the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have stated to a large extent that pregnant and breastfeeding women should be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they wish. However, neither organization actually recommends vaccination for pregnant women.
At the same time, the World Health Organization (WHO) initially provided consultations for women Oppose vaccination. But in late January, the organization revised its recommendations, stating: “Based on our knowledge of this vaccine, we have no specific reason to believe that there will be specific risks that outweigh the benefits of vaccination to pregnant women.”
Before getting the vaccine, ACOG recommends that pregnant women discuss the following with their doctor:
- Virus activity level in the community
- The potential efficacy of the vaccine they can obtain
- The risk and potential severity of maternal diseases, including the effects of the disease on the fetus and newborn
- The safety of the vaccine for pregnant women and fetuses
However, ACOG also pointed out that “you should not have a conversation with your doctor” because this may cause “unnecessary vaccination barriers.”
So, is it safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
“With no data on pregnant and lactating individuals, it is difficult to publicly recommend interventions,” said Emily S Miller, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Northwestern Medical Department.
But according to the research to date, “there is no reason to believe that pregnant women or their fetuses will be threatened by the COVID-19 vaccine,” said William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert and professor in Vanderbilt City University School of Medicine. Moreover, he pointed out that research on pregnant animals has not yet attracted attention.
Dr. Schaffner said: “Everything we know about vaccines indicates that it should be safe.” “The RNA in the vaccine does not come close to anywhere in human DNA-whether it is mother or fetus.”
Infectious disease expert Dr. Amesh A. Adalja said that public health organizations (such as the WHO) have been cautious in their statements, but “what we see from women who are pregnant or pregnant and vaccinated during clinical trials is reassuring.” . Senior scholar of Johns Hopkins University Health and Safety Center.
Dr. Michael Cackovic, a fetal medicine physician at Wexner Medical Center in Ohio, explained that public health officials and organizations, including ACOG, are “doing their best.” “They said,’We don’t have data to make recommendations,’ which makes sense.”
At the same time, Dr. Cackovic pointed out that this type of vaccine is considered safer for pregnant women than other types of vaccines. He explained: “The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine does not contain live viruses. These types of vaccines are considered more compatible during pregnancy because they work by inducing an immune response in the host.”
In addition, Dr. Joanne Stone, director of the Department of Maternal and Fetal Medicine of the Mount Sinai Health System in New York, said that pregnant women are very likely to have serious complications from COVID-19, so the vaccine is at least worth considering. She explained: “Although conversations with healthcare professionals may help make personal decisions, it seems that the benefits outweigh the risks.” “And it is important to inform women that there is a lack of data on the safety of vaccines for pregnant women.”
Bottom line: Pregnant women should discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with their doctor.
Now that pregnant women have been included in the vaccine trial, Dr. Cackovic said: “The ongoing dialogue with your doctor should include the latest public information about the safety, effectiveness, and effectiveness of the vaccine in pregnancy.”
Dr. Adalia agreed. He said: “I do think this is a decision between the doctor and the patient.” “However, in most cases, pregnant women should be immunized.”
As of press time, this article is accurate. However, with the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic and the scientific understanding of the new coronavirus, some information may have changed since the last update.Although we aim to keep all our stories up to date, please visit the CDC, Who, and yours Local public health department Keep up to date with the latest news. Always contact your doctor for professional medical advice.
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