Should pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were not tested on pregnant patients, and there’s still not enough data one way or the other. But Dr. Justin Brandt is recommending the vaccine for his patients, even during the first trimester.
“It doesn’t contain live virus,” said the assistant professor in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “It doesn’t contain adjuvants to enhance efficacy. The vaccine doesn’t enter the nucleus of cells where DNA is kept, so theoretically, it shouldn’t result in an increase for genetic diseases or problems related to the DNA.”
And, he said, getting the vaccine is important because pregnant women are more at risk of severe complications if they contract COVID-19.
“When we look at pregnant women with COVID and compare those outcomes with non-pregnant women with COVID, pregnant patients are more likely to be hospitalized, to go to the intensive care unit, require help breathing with tubes in their throat and mechanical ventilation, and they’re more likely to die,” he explained.
Brandt added antibodies from the vaccine can cross to the placenta, providing protection for the baby, too.
While there is still not enough known about the vaccine and pregnancy, Brandt said vaccine trials have shown a high degree of safety and efficacy for non-pregnant patients, so it is likely pregnant patients would experience a similar outcome.