Health

CDC advises COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant women

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised pregnant women to receive COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday after a new study indicated no heightened risk of miscarriage among women who received the shot during early pregnancy.

The updated guidance comes as COVID-19 infections are climbing due to the highly transmissible delta variant, including among pregnant women in past few weeks, the CDC said, citing a low vaccine uptake among expectant women and greater risk for severe disease and pregnancy complications following COVID-19 infection.

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“The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

The CDC’s advice echoes recent recommendations from top obstetrician groups. The agency had previously encouraged pregnant women to consider vaccination but had stopped short of a full recommendation. The new advice also applies to nursing mothers and women planning to get pregnant.

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The new CDC analysis stemmed from additional safety data on 2,456 women who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy, with results indicating an approximate 13% miscarriage rate, within the expected rate of about 11% to 16% in the general population.

“These findings add to accumulating evidence that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy are safe,” the preliminary analysis reads.

Clinical trials specifically studying the jabs among pregnant women were not included when the Food and Drug Administration granted any of the vaccines’ emergency use authorization, however preliminary data collected from the CDC and FDA safety monitoring systems “did not identify any safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated or their babies.”

Pfizer, Moderna, J&J and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have all since undertaken studies assessing COVID-19 vaccine among pregnant women.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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