Fact Finders: Should pregnant or breast feeding women get COVID-19 vaccine?

Updated: Dec. 31, 2020 at 6:35 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Pregnant women were not included in the initial clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine, although a handful became pregnant during the study.

That means there’s very limited data about that group.

However, Dr. Anthony Fauci said we should learn more soon. He said follow-up studies that include pregnant women will begin in mid-to-late January.

Initially, it was unclear if pregnant women would be able to get the vaccine right away. Now, the CDC released new guidance.

The CDC, which said it may be helpful to consult a doctor, said the decision should be made on an individual basis. Part of the decision-making process may include a patient’s risk level of getting COVID-19.

Dr. Christine Farinelli, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at TMC, said when pregnant women get COVID it can get tricky for the mother and baby.

“It’s difficult because you have two patients that you’re caring for,” she said. “And pregnant women have certain physiologic changes that make it a little bit scarier for them to have COVID. They might need to be intubated quicker, they might need to be on high-flow oxygen for a long time.”

While researchers begin collecting data, it’s unclear when or if the CDC will recommend this vaccine for pregnant women. Dr. Farinelli said her team is prepared for the long haul.

“We’ve been ready and we’re still ready,” she said. “We’re just hanging in there whatever we need to do to take care of patients.”

As for breast feeding moms, there isn’t a lot of data yet there. However, the CDC said if a woman gets this type of vaccine while nursing, it is not usually thought to be a risk to the infant.

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