Should pregnant women get the COVID vaccine?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — There is uncertainty for many pregnant women when it comes to whether or not to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Colleen Fogarty, the Department Chair for the University of Rochester Department of Family Medicine, discussed the decision-making process for expecting mothers Tuesday during News 8 at Sunrise.

Dr. Fogarty noted the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and several other organizations have released guidance for COVID vaccine for pregnant persons. “The key recommendation is to talk to your clinician about your own risks and benefits of vaccination.”

Part of the uncertainty stems from the fact that pregnant and breastfeeding women were not included in the vaccine trials. Dr. Fogarty said several women in the trials did receive the vaccine before they knew they were pregnant and there have been no problems reported. The FDA will continue to monitor any impact on pregnancy for those who receive the vaccine.

Dr. Fogarty said expecting mothers can be assured there are no live viruses in either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. “Safe vaccines rely on weighing risk and benefit. Pregnant women who do get infected with COVID are at higher risk for severe COVID complications compared with non-pregnant peers. The risk of contracting COVID depends on how much COVID is in the community. In the Finger Lakes area, COVID infections are the on rise daily. Likewise, if you work in an occupation at higher risk for exposure, like in healthcare, you have a higher chance of contracting COVID compared to someone who can stay home during the pandemic.”

Each pregnant person should have this conversation with their physician or nurse practitioner to determine which is the best course related to COVID vaccination. Breastfeeding mothers also should talk to their clinician about receiving the vaccination.

The CDC is monitoring those who have received the vaccine. You can register for the “V Safe” program and report any symptoms you may develop.


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