Many concerned people who are looking to return to some sense of normalcy since the global pandemic are now setting their sights on the vaccine. But, what are the risks of the vaccines on pregnant women?
Some research suggests that pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to have a premature birth and Caesarean delivery, and their babies are more likely to be admitted to a neonatal unit. In addition, pregnant women who are Black or Hispanic appear to be disproportionately affected by infection with the COVID-19 virus.
According to studies from the Mayo Clinic, the overall risk of COVID-19 to pregnant women is low. However, pregnancy increases the risk for severe illness and death with COVID-19. Pregnant women who have COVID-19 appear more likely to develop respiratory complications requiring intensive care than women who aren’t pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pregnant women are also more likely to be placed on a ventilator, the Mayo Clinic reports.
With the risks of going through pregnancy with COVID-19 spreading across the nation, it is imperative to question what the best methods to take care of you and your unborn child can be. For many pregnant and non-pregnant women, the vaccine can be a major concern.
La’Rhonda Johnson just recently found out she will be having a baby boy and is eager to meet him, but she is nervous because of the pandemic he may be born into.
“I am more concerned about my baby,” Johnson said. “I feel like avoiding the vaccine and public places is the best thing for me right now.”
According to the CDC, getting vaccinated is a personal choice. Any of the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines can be offered to people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The CDC also suggests that If you have questions about getting vaccinated, a conversation with your healthcare provider might help, but it is not required.
Originally, there was very little data on whether the COVID-19 vaccines were safe and effective during pregnancy. However, more studies have been conducted, and researchers are beginning to find some answers.
A study from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) shows that the vaccines are not only safe and effective for those who are both pregnant and/or nursing, they could also help safeguard the babies.
Rose Alvarez is already a mother of two children and has made the decision to get the vaccine after having only recovered from the virus a couple months into her pregnancy.
“I must admit I am hesitant about getting the vaccine next week but after contracting COVID-19 in my first trimester, I just feel it’s the right thing to do,” Alvarez said “The fact that I am a minority woman already puts me and my son at risk, I figured if it could potentially benefit us both in the long run I should do what’s best for us.”
COVID-19 vaccinations for people who are pregnant could have potential benefits. However, there are still several unanswered questions. It could help to do some research before making a choice to vaccinate, but realize that information may be subject to change.