The data on whether pregnant women should get a coronavirus vaccine is limited. To gather more data, hospitals in Boston have launched a pregnancy registry, including BIDMC.
WCVB Channel 5 – January 13, 2021
Should pregnant women get a coronavirus vaccine?
If you’re pregnant, should you get a coronavirus vaccine? It’s a question women across the country are considering. The data is limited, but there are a few things doctors do know.
Kendra Currier is mom to a busy toddler and five months pregnant with her second child, in the midst of a pandemic.
“It’s definitely stressful at times because you’re trying to navigate this unchartered territory,” Currier said.
She’s a registered nurse and professional development manager at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She was eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine and went ahead with it last week. She called it a very personal decision, made after doing research and talking to her doctor.
“It is really, at this point, informed-decision making from the part of the pregnant person,” said Dr. Khady Diouf, director of Obstetrics and Gynecology Practices at Brigham and Women’s.
Diouf said pregnant women were not included in the coronavirus vaccine trials, though some did become pregnant after receiving the vaccine.
“From what we know and, based on that very limited data, we’re not really seeing any adverse pregnancy outcomes. Theoretically, you could think this is an mRNA vaccine which isn’t really a live virus, so you don’t worry about transmitting the disease to the fetus through that or the disease crossing the placenta,” Diouf said.
Diouf is telling her patients to weigh that information against the health risks if they contract coronavirus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including being admitted to the ICU and needing to go on a ventilator, when compared to women who are not pregnant.
The agency, along with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, says vaccines should not be withheld from a pregnant woman if she’s eligible to receive one.
“I think it’s important not to have a blanket recommendation for all pregnant women and for every pregnant woman to really consider what their potential risk factors are and what their level of comfort is,” Diouf said.
That’s what Currier did before deciding to get vaccinated and knows even after her second dose next month, she’ll need to keep up the precautions.
“You still have to be aware. You still have to do all those things, good practices, to prevent this virus,” Currier said.
To gather more data, Brigham and Women’s has launched a pregnancy registry along with Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
They’re enrolling pregnant women who get vaccinated to understand why they chose to and to study immunogenic response after receiving it.