Federal health officials recommend pregnant women get COVID-19 vaccine

a vial of covid-19 vaccine
A vial of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at the community vaccine clinic held at Manai Fou Assembly of God Church in Airport Heights on Feb. 23, 2021. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine. The news comes after months of uncertainty for expectant mothers.

Dr. Lisa Rabinowitz is a staff physician for Alaska’s public health division and serves on its COVID-19 task force. She said the announcement helps doctors make recommendations for pregnant women.

“We were very excited this week to have more concrete data that helps. We feel more confident talking to women and help them make this decision.”

She said the news also comes on the heels of a new study that highlights the increased dangers of COVID-19 infection for pregnant women and their unborn children.

Pregnant women and children are considered vulnerable populations and were not included in previous vaccine trials. But early data from the CDC’s Vaccine Pregnancy Registry shows “no evidence that antibodies from COVID-19 vaccination cause any problem with pregnancy, including problems with the placenta.”

In a White House briefing last Friday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said pregnant people who were vaccinated showed no unusual side effects in an agency study. Further, no safety concerns were observed for the more than 800 people who completed their pregnancies after getting the vaccine in the third trimester.

The CDC continues to advise women to make a decision in consultation with their doctors.

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