SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Data from more than 35,000 pregnant individuals between the ages of 16 and 54 suggests that Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant women.
The preliminary findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers looked at reports from participants who were vaccinated between Dec. 14, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021. The researchers used data collected from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), the CDC’s voluntary “v-safe after vaccination health checker”, and the v-safe pregnancy registry.
Clinical trials for both vaccines excluded pregnant women, limiting the amount of safty data available.
“I’m running into people who are more hesitant, and I think this study will provide some great information for me to share with them,” said Dr. Lisa Johnston, an OBGYN for Sharp Rees-Stealy and Chief Medical Officer for Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns. “Nonvaccinated women had the same rate of complications as women who received the COVID-19 vaccine. I think it’s fantastic news to be able to have some data to give to our pregnant women.”
The CDC’s Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said the CDC recommends pregnant women receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“No safety concerns were observed for people vaccinated in the third trimester or safety concerns for their babies. As such, CDC recommends pregnant people receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Walensky on Friday.
Dr. William Tseng, the physician vaccine lead at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, said other studies show the more significant risk from pregnant women and their babies is contracting symptomatic COVID-19.
“The newborns of COVID mothers who are symptomatic are three times more likely to have severe medical complications requiring neonatal ICU,” said Tseng, citing a study that looked at data from 2,130 pregnant women in 18 countries. That study found newborns born to women diagnosed with COVID-19 “had significantly higher severe neonatal morbidity index and severe perinatal morbidity and mortality index compared with newborns of women without COVID-19 diagnosis.”
Both Tseng and Johnston recommend pregnant women talk to their physician directly if they have concerns about getting a vaccine.