Should Covid-19 Vaccines Be Offered in Pregnancy? Doctors Say Yes
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states pregnant women shouldn’t be left out
Frontline health workers celebrate the arrival of Covid-19 vaccines. But obstetricians, like me, are frustrated that the clinical guidance for vaccinating pregnant women is unclear. More than 3.7 million women give birth in the U.S. per year. Excluding pregnant women from vaccine eligibility creates a significant risk for moms and babies.
On December 11, the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine was approved under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Data shows this vaccine to be 95% effective at preventing Covid-19 illness. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued an interim recommendation allowing vaccination of those 16 years and older. The guidance did not include specific recommendations for pregnant women.
On December 13, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a strong response advocating for the inclusion of pregnant women in a practice advisory release titled “Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients Against Covid-19,” ACOG is clear in its clinical guidance; pregnant and breastfeeding women should not be left out.
Much remains unknown about the novel coronavirus’s effects on pregnant women and babies. New research shows most pregnant women with Covid-19 do well but have an increased risk of ICU admission and preterm labor.
Under Operation Warp Speed, data is collected on outcomes from vaccine recipients who are pregnant or become pregnant. Retrospective data can be analyzed in the future to perform bridge studies indicating pregnancy safety.
ACOG does not support waiting for more data before taking protective action. The practice advisory statement supports immediate access to Covid-19 vaccines for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Covid-19 vaccines should be offered to lactating individuals similar to non-lactating individuals when they meet the criteria for receipt of the vaccine based on…