The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended Friday that pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that vaccination surveillance systems showed “no safety concerns” for more than 35,000 women in their third trimester or for their babies.
“We know that this is a deeply personal decision, and I encourage people to talk to their doctors and their primary care providers to determine what is best for them and for their baby,” said Walensky at a White House briefing on the coronavirus.
According to the Washington Post, Walensky explained that because the initial vaccine trials did not include pregnant women, there had been limited data on possible complications. As a consequence, different health authorities had offered cautious, or even conflicting, recommendations.
“Importantly, no safety concerns were observed for people vaccinated in the third trimester or safety concerns for their babies,” Walensky said. “As such, the CDC recommends that pregnant people receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”
As published by COVID-19 updates, researchers examined data from more than 35,000 women who received one of the vaccine shots during or shortly before their pregnancy between Dec. 14 and Feb. 28. Pregnant women reportedly experienced the same side effects as non-pregnant women while reporting injection-site pain more frequently and headaches, chills and fever less often.
Dr. Walensky pointed to the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday that found the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines appear to be safe for pregnant women.
The CDC had previously suggested that pregnant women make their decisions based on doctors’ consultations. And although the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said coronavirus vaccines “should not be withheld from pregnant individuals,” it did not recommend stopped explicitly the shots for that group.