HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — "Unfortunately, women who are pregnant, who get COVID-19, have a higher risk of having severe disease, if you look at the priority groups that the CDC recommends for vaccination because of that risk: obesity, diabetes, hypertension, pregnancy is on that list as well," said Dr. Jodie Dionne-Odom, MD, associate professor with the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases and associate director of Global Health in the UAB Center for Women’s Reproductive Health.
The CDC opened up a registry so that pregnant, vaccinated women could give them real-world data. This registry is called the V-Safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry.
"About 19,000 of these women got Pfizer and about 16,000 women got the Moderna vaccine, these are both mRNA vaccines and when they looked at the safety of the women and safety of the babies, it looked very reassuring," said Dr. Dionne-Odom.
Although she only mentions the two-dose shots, she says that pregnant women and those trying to get pregnant can safely get any vaccine that's available.
Also the earlier the better while pregnant.
"So, if you're 39 weeks pregnant, it's already late to get the vaccine. Ideally, you wanna have it early enough where you can be fully protected by the time you deliver, by the time you are in that second or third phase of pregnancy. Because we know that these antibodies can protect the baby and pass through the placenta, that's another reason why women who are pregnant shouldn't wait until the very last phase of pregnancy to get this vaccine. Earlier is better," said Dr. Dionne-Odom.
Dionne-Odom says it's important to compare the risks of infection vs. vaccination and hopes that these latest findings will encourage more people to get vaccinated, especially pregnant women.
"When you compare the risks of COVID infection itself in pregnant women, which we know are important and significant, to the risk of vaccination, the safety of vaccination looks very reassuring here. This, we hope will further encourage women and providers who've been wanting more pregnancy data, this provides some of that data and it's very reassuring," said Dr. Dionne-Odom.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, visit the CDC website.