TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive, is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
“We are more concerned, we lose more sleep about our pregnant patients having COVID than we are about them being vaccinated,” said Dr. Dionne Mills, an obstetrics and gynecology specialist who is working to educate women about the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Our stance is that COVID-19 is devastating for pregnancy, devastating for pregnant women,” Mills said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to non-pregnant people.
The CDC said any of the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines, which are Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, can be offered to people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
“A lot of my pregnant colleagues have gotten vaccinated and are happy to do so.” Mills said.
Based on how the vaccines work in the body, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a specific risk for people who are pregnant. However, there is currently limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people.
“We have a problem with including women in studies for pretty much anything, much less pregnant women in studies,” Mills said.
Still, Mills says she is confident in the data that does exist.
“Right now, we have a lot of information post the release of the vaccine about thousands of pregnant people who have been vaccinated as well as lactating people, and we have seen a good safety profile,” Mills said.
Mills wants her message to be clear.
“I would encourage anyone who is hearing this who is trying to conceive, who is already pregnant or who is breastfeeding... please get first in line, run down, get the vaccine right away. You will help your obstetrician sleep better at night,” Mills said.
If you are pregnant and receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC asks you consider participating in the v-safe pregnancy registry.
It is the CDC’s smartphone-based tool that asks users to give information on their health after receiving the vaccine.
Click here to learn more about V-safe and register.
Mills’ advice comes as doctors in Florida reported a pregnant health worker who received the COVID-19 vaccine has passed antibodies to her newborn.
It is the first known case and potentially important development in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
A frontline healthcare worker received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine at 36 weeks pregnant.
Her daughter was born three weeks later.
Doctors took a sample of the newborn’s blood and the results showed she had COVID-19 antibodies. Still, the Florida pediatricians said there are some factors that indicate newborns born to vaccinated mothers will remain at risk for infection.
“Further studies have to determine how long this protection will last,” said pediatrician Chad Rudnick. “They have to determine at what level of protection or how many antibodies does a baby need to have circulating in order to give them protection.”