SEATTLE — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization are imploring everybody to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s their turn. But are the vaccines safe for women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding?
To verify, we looked at the actual Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine studies and checked with the CDC. We also consulted with Dr. Lorna Marshall, a reproductive endocrinologist and Medical Director of Pacific Northwest Fertility.
But the answer is complicated.
“During all the trials for vaccines, they didn't include pregnant women during any of the [Moderna and Pfizer] trials,” Dr. Marshall explained to KING 5.
Since there is no reliable, scientific data, the CDC isn’t officially recommending women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, the CDC has studied pregnant women who contracted the coronavirus and found they were almost three times as likely as non-pregnant women to have serious complications, including death.
“During the trial for the Pfizer vaccine there were a number of women who did get pregnant, and they did not have miscarriages,” Dr. Marshall explained. “And so far, it doesn't look like there is any negative effect on their pregnancy. In the end, the benefits of taking the vaccine are greater than the risks.”
Dr. Marshall added that women who are breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant should feel safe getting vaccinated, stressing that all of her medical advice applies only for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and not the Oxford vaccine or future vaccines that may get approved for emergency use.
While we cannot verify that there is no risk for pregnant women getting vaccinated for the coronavirus, we can verify that the benefits appear to be worth it.