CDC updates guidance for pregnant women, urging the COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — 23% of pregnant women received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine across the country. But new guidance from the CDC could change this.

Health leaders say new research from the past several months backs their recommendations for pregnant women to get the vaccine.

“We are now overtly recommending the COVID vaccine for pregnant patients,” said Dr. Daniel Grace, head of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Rochester Regional Health.

He says the recommendation for these women has always been there, but with the caution of — not a lot of research.

“We do know that pregnant patients are at increased risk for severe manifestations of COVID,” said Dr. Grace.

He says from the start, there’s been tremendous concern for pregnant women getting COVID.

“There is about a 10 to 12 per-thousand rate of being severely affected enough, that they end up in the ICU.”

Compare that with a three to four per-thousand rate for women the same age, who are not pregnant.

“While those absolute numbers are not extremely high that is a pretty significant increase in risk,” said Dr. Grace.

That’s why he and other health leaders urging pregnant women to get the vaccine, especially with new data.

Dr. Grace says the CDC looked at over a 140,000 pregnant patients who got the vaccine, and saw no difference in the complication rates for those who didn’t get it.

Dr. William Valenti with Trillium Health says there’s also supporting data to show the vaccine does not contribute to miscarriages.

“In the beginning we really didn’t know the answers, and we have very good science and a lot of science that says vaccines are safe in pregnancy, and breastfeeding,” he said.

Both doctors say, yes: there are women out there who got complications after having gotten the vaccine. But not at a higher rate than those unvaccinated. Complications that come with pregnancy in general remain the same.

Health experts say the earlier in pregnancy the better to get vaccinated, before 20 weeks being most ideal.

The CDC is also running a database of pregnant patients any pregnant woman can participate in, called v-safe. The program is available for smartphones and online.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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