Is it safe for pregnant women to get the COVID vaccine? Some questions answered

7news.com.au
6 min read
fairly difficult
With the COVID vaccine due to roll out soon, it's the question on every expectant mother's lips. Here's what you need to know.
Three days after getting the first shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, first-time US mum Claudia Gibbons still feels nervous.

Before making the hard decision to get vaccinated during pregnancy, she weighed her risk of contracting COVID-19 — as an emergency room physician assistant, she said it's high — and the unknowns of the vaccine.

While she finds the lack of research on coronavirus vaccines in the pregnant population frustrating, she felt the risk to her daughter is low, in part because she's due soon, in late January.

Driving Gibbons' nerves right now is the fear that new research will "prove I maybe made the wrong decision."

"They may say, 'Oh, it's seen that it has caused X, Y and Z.' Then, just waiting to see when the baby is born, is she affected?

"Because it's always a chance. It's never a for-sure thing."

Gibbons, 30, is one of an estimated 330,000 pregnant or lactating health care workers in the US who are deciding whether to be immunised against COVID-19, even though there's minimal data on its effects in pregnancy and none on lactation.

Gibbons noted that many of her pregnant colleagues opted not to get the vaccine, which has made her second-guess herself at times.

As the phased distribution of the Pfizer vaccine progresses, even more mothers will have to make the same call.

A file image of a pregnant woman with face mask standing in front of window. Credit: Guido Mieth / Getty Images

Whether you should get the COVID-19 vaccine as a pregnant person will depend on your individual circumstances, and health authorities recommend discussing the available information with your health care provider.

Pregnant people are more likely than their non-pregnant counterparts to develop a severe illness due to coronavirus.

This includes an increased risk of intensive care unit admission and needing a ventilator, and preterm delivery or stillbirth, according to the CDC.

(Recent research shows, however, that some pregnant women infected with the…
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