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Health care professionals say COVID-19 vaccine is safe for pregnant and nursing women

Posted at 7:38 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 20:38:05-05

The CDC and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine agree that the new mRNA COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to those who are pregnant and breastfeeding.

“Pregnant moms that get COVID are at increased risks of complications. They are more likely to end up in the intensive care unit. They are more likely to end up on a ventilator and have a machine breathe for them. They are at increased risk of actually dying from the disease, and when we think about pregnancy itself, they are at increased risk of delivering early,” said Dr. Jessica Ehrig, Maternity Medical Director at Baylor Scott & White Health - Temple.

As more COVID-19 vaccinations become available, many individuals are concerned about the lack of tests done on pregnant women.

“For the most information that we have, it truly is safe. So, I do recommend that my patients, after having the discussion, get the vaccine,” said Dr. Ehrig.

mRNA vaccines have been in the works for over a decade, and do not give the mother or the child the virus. According to Harvard Medical School, “the mRNA vaccines did not affect fertility or cause any problems with pregnancy.”

“Most pregnant moms get the flu shot and they also get the Tdap shot. The reason we give those is because we know we are going to boost mom’s immunity if she gets exposed to the virus, but also mom’s antibodies that she builds pass through the placenta and provide immunity to baby. We have to believe this same mechanism could work for the COVID vaccine,” said Dr. Ehrig.

This same concept goes for breastfeeding moms. The COVID-19 vaccine could help prevent the baby from contracting the virus or help build a stronger immunity.

Dr. Ehrig is advising her patients to make sure that if you get the Pfizer vaccine for the first dose to stick with Pfizer for the second dose. Same thing with the Moderna vaccine. She also said it’s important you get the second dose at the same place you got you the first dose.