Results of the largest study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the use of two-dose COVID-19 vaccines by pregnant women have been released.
The new study, published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that out of more than 35,000 people who were pregnant or soon to become pregnant, there is no evidence to suggest that the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccines pose risk during pregnancy.
Little data has been released on the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine, which had run into production issues before distribution was paused following reports of six cases of blood clotting.
According to the study, which included self-reported data from more than 35,691 people, some pregnant women experienced typical vaccine side effects, such as mild fatigue, headaches, and aches at the injection site, but they “did not show obvious safety signal.”
Among 827 study participants who completed their pregnancy, the rate of miscarriage was consistent with pregnancy outcomes prior to the pandemic, according to the researchers.
Officials noted that no data yet exists on pregnancy outcomes for patients given the vaccine in their first trimester, while adding that “more longitudinal follow-up, including follow-up of large numbers of women vaccinated earlier in pregnancy, is necessary to inform maternal, pregnancy, and infant outcomes."
Researchers noted that the results of the study are preliminary, and only covered the first 11 weeks of the vaccine rollout in the US, between mid-December through the end of February.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists also recommends that COVID-19 vaccines not be withheld from pregnant or breastfeeding patients, and that guidance has been echoed by the CDC.
The study found that pregnant people are more vulnerable to severe illnesses from COVID, and those who contract the virus during pregnancy are more likely to be hospitalized and face a higher risk of death.
Officials said that “Everyone, including pregnant women and those seeking to become pregnant, should get a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective.”
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