New Study Shows Covid-19 Vaccines in Pregnancy Are Safe for Mom and Baby

CDC director recommends pregnant people get vaccinated

Dr Jeff Livingston
Medium Coronavirus Blog
3 min readApr 26, 2021

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Photo: shironosov Istock/Getty Images

More than 3.7 million people give birth in the U.S. every year. And this year, of course, a pandemic prevails. As a result, pregnant people and OB-GYN doctors like me are tracking the research on Covid-19 vaccination in pregnancy.

The most extensive study to date, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, provides more evidence that the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines are safe and effective during pregnancy for both mom and baby.

Health providers celebrated the Covid-19 vaccine Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but the initial clinical guidance for vaccinating pregnant people was unclear.

On December 11, 2020, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued an interim recommendation allowing vaccination of those 16 years and older, but the guidance did not include specific recommendations during pregnancy. Pregnant women were not included in initial Covid-19 vaccine trials.

On December 13, 2020, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a strong response advocating for the inclusion of pregnant women in a practice advisory. ACOG was clear in its clinical guidance: pregnant and breastfeeding people should not be left out.

The New England Journal of Medicine then published “Preliminary Findings of mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Safety in Pregnant Persons.” The study authors analyzed data over three months from December 14, 2020 to February 28, 2021. The researchers pulled information from three large databases: the v-safe after vaccination health checker surveillance system, the v-safe pregnancy registry, and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

This post-authorization monitoring paper analyzed 35,691 participants to help establish the mRNA vaccine safety profile and guide public health policy.

Research showed the pregnant people experienced similar side effects as nonpregnant people after receiving the vaccine. The most common symptoms were injection-site pain, fatigue, headache, and muscle aches.

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Dr Jeff Livingston
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Obgyn, Husband, Father, & Entrepreneur. Writing about Women’s Health, Parenting, and Self-improvement. CEO of MacArthurmc.com & founder of Medika.life