There’s light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet you find yourself still in its grips as you decide whether or not to get yourself vaccinated while you’re pregnant. We hear your concerns, and we’ve followed the data.
Education is important, especially while you’re pregnant, but the sheer amount of information you’re expected to absorb can be daunting. Now, we add an extenuating circumstance to the equation — like COVID-19 — and you’re feeling overwhelmed.
To help, the team here at the Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley, led by Dr. Fernando Otero, pulled together what we know about pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccination.
Researchers have worked around the clock to study the effects of COVID-19 on different segments of the population and have found that pregnant women are at a slightly higher risk of developing serious disease should they become infected. By severe illness, we’re referring to hospitalization, including ventilation and intensive care.
Further, researchers found that pregnant women with COVID-19 are at an increased risk for preterm delivery.
The COVID situation is like no other we’ve faced in the past, and pharmaceutical companies have certainly risen to the challenge. In a very short amount of time, they’ve created vaccines and sent them through rush safety trials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Drug Administration have worked together to fast track bringing these vaccines safely to market under a very watchful eye, and the preliminary data is very encouraging.
According to the CDC, “The data did not identify any safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated or for their babies.”
More encouraging is a study conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Ragon Institute of MGH, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard, which found that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are, “highly effective in producing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in pregnant and lactating women. The study also demonstrated the vaccines confer protective immunity to newborns through breast milk and the placenta.”
In other words, this research finds that not only can the COVID-19 vaccine protect you, but your unborn child or breastfed newborn, as well.
We understand that vaccines are a personal choice. Should you decide to get vaccinated, the CDC asks that you enroll in their program called v-safe. V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses texting and surveys to provide health check-ins for people after vaccination.
By participating in this program, you can help women down the road who are facing the same vaccination decision that you are now.
If you’d like to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and your pregnancy, contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to set up an appointment.