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Is it safe for me to get the COVID-19 vaccine while I am pregnant and/or breastfeeding?

This has, and rightfully so, become a common concern amongst our reproductive aged patients since the conversation began about releasing a vaccine.  In reality, the vaccine is NEW.  There is so much that we do not know yet about effectiveness, side effects, long term effects, etc.  However, as your healthcare provider, it is both our responsibility and our priority to relay the information that we do know, so that our patients and their families can make informed decisions about what is best for them.  

So here is what we DO know....according to the CDC, our pregnant population is not necessarily at any greater risk for contracting the virus. BUT studies have proven that pregnant women are much more likely to suffer from severe disease.  Severe disease in pregnancy can lead to maternal and fetal compromise, pre-term labor, and other pregnancy complications.

When the vaccines were first starting to be administered, there had not been any pregnant women involved in any clinical trials, and therefore, we were unable to determine risk level, and really had to take a risk/benefit standpoint with each individual patient.  In recent months, vaccine researchers, combined with pregnant, healthcare workers created a study to determine the transmission of COVID antibodies from mother to infant.  The trial, which focused on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, found that the vaccine was tolerated similar to non-pregnant patients, in that the side effects were no more severe, and that the amount of antibodies detected in pregnant women vs. Non pregnant women were very similar.  The study was able to determine that a significant number of antibodies were transferred from mom to baby through both placenta, and in breast milk.  THESE BABIES ARE BEING PROTECTED!!  

Research remains ongoing for the foreseeable future. It has not yet been determined how long the babies will have the antibodies, and there has yet to be a vaccine approved for children under the age of 16.

As always, contact your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns!! Happy Spring

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Bowie, MD OBGYN
Capital Women's Care Division 663060 Mitchelville Road Suite 210
Bowie, MD 20716
(301) 249-4090
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Greenbelt, MD OBGYN
Capital Women's Care Division 7855 Walker Drive Greenbelt
Greenbelt, MD 20770
(301) 249-4090
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North Bethesda, MD OBGYN
Capital Women's Care Division 6611200 Rockville Pike Suite 205
North Bethesda, MD 20852
(301) 249-4090
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