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COVID-19: Moderna Vaccine Warning Issued For Pregnant Women

The World Health Organization issued a warning about pregnant women receiving the Moderna vaccine.
The World Health Organization issued a warning about pregnant women receiving the Moderna vaccine. Photo Credit: Moderna

The World Health Organization is warning pregnant women not to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine due to a lack of data from initial clinical trials.

This week, the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization issued interim recommendations for use of the Moderna vaccine in people over the age of 18.

Among the guidance was an advisory that only pregnant women who are considered “high risk” to catch the virus, such as healthcare workers, should take the Moderna vaccine.

The WHO gave similar assessments on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine earlier this month, citing insufficient data.

“While pregnancy puts women at a higher risk of severe COVID-19, the use of this vaccine in pregnant women is currently not recommended, unless they are at risk of high exposure,” they wrote.

The guidance from the WHO came after the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination based on recommended priority groups.

The CDC previously said that while COVID vaccines in pregnant women haven’t been studied clinically, they believe the Moderna vaccine is unlikely to pose a risk since it is an mRNA vaccine, not a live vaccine, and will be degraded quickly “by normal cellular processes.”

Neither the Pfizer nor Moderna vaccine has been tested on pregnant women, though there were reportedly women enrolled in some clinical trials who received the vaccine and later became pregnant.

There have been no reports of any adverse reactions from those tested in the clinics or from any pregnant woman who may have already been vaccinated.

"So I think there's a lack of data, but many times in times of crisis and medicine, other situations like that, we are forced to make decisions, even when the data is imperfect," Dr. Diana Racusin, a maternal medicine specialist at UT Health said to ABC13. "I wish we had not excluded pregnant women from these trials, but that is the data that we have."

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