COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy questions answered

Coronavirus

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Last week, pregnant mothers joined the list of people eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination.

An OBGYN for 12 years, Dr. Rachael Tate gives her honest answers surrounding vaccines and pregnancies.

First, what’s the current thinking about the vaccine and fertility or future pregnancies?

“It’s thought the vaccine has no harmful effect to embryo development or fertility. The vaccine does not contain the MRNA, which is live virus. They cannot alter your DNA. In fact, ACOG encourages patients trying to conceive to receive vaccination,” Tate continues.

How about women who “are” pregnant?

Tate explains, “What we do know is that pregnant patients are more likely to get a more severe illness, like ICU admissions, pre-term labor. However, the vaccine has not been tested on pregnant patients so there is no specific safety data.”

Now, what about timing? How early or late into the pregnancy should the vaccine be taken?

“The timing is unknown. We hope to have more recommendations.  Right now, we recommend high risk pregnant patients to receive the vaccine,” says Tate.

What advice is available for mothers who are breastfeeding?

“We encourage breastfeeding mothers to discuss options with their doctor but the CDC states there is no need to avoid initiation or discontinue in patients who have received the vaccine,” explains Tate.

According to the CDC, limited data is available about the safety of the COVID vaccine administered during pregnancy, but no safety concerns arose when it was tested on rats.

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