A new study offers evidence on the safety of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.
Pregnant women with COVID-19 have an increased risk of disease severity and death. Pregnant women avoid the COVID-19 vaccine because vaccination might disrupt pregnancy.
In this new study by Yale University, more than 40,000 pregnant individuals were involved. Scientists found that COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy was not associated with preterm birth or small-for-gestational-age (SGA). They compared vaccinated with unvaccinated pregnant people. The trimester when the vaccination was received and the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses received were also not associated with an increased risk of preterm birth or SGA.
For the study, scientists used data from eight healthcare organizations participating in Vaccine Safety Datalink, a project established by the CDC to monitor vaccine safety. They investigated preterm birth or SGA risk among vaccinated and unvaccinated pregnant women aged 16 to 49 years.
Scientists noted, “Among those included in the study, 10,064 individuals, or nearly 22%, received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose during pregnancy. Most (98.3%) received vaccination during their second or third trimester; the rest (1.7%) received it during their first trimester of pregnancy. Almost 96% of those vaccinated received an mRNA vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.”
“To date, a few studies have described outcomes among live births following COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy. The new findings add to the evidence that COVID-19 vaccination is safe during pregnancy.”
What is the reason behind low vaccine acceptance among pregnant people?
Scientists found that the most common concerns have been a lack of information about COVID-19 vaccine safety in pregnant people and potential harm to the fetus.
Heather Lipkind, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the Yale School of Medicine and lead author of the study, said, “The results of this study speak to both.”
“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is important for preventing severe illness in pregnant people. With the increasing rates of COVID-19 in our community, we are encouraging pregnant people to get vaccinated.”
The findings were reported on Jan. 4 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).