Medically reviewed by
Dr. Candice Greenan
McLeod OB/GYN Associates
In a July 30, 2021 news release, the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) recommend that all pregnant individuals be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“This recommendation discredits misinformation and rumors about the vaccine and women who are expecting,” says McLeod OB/GYN Dr. Candice Greenan. “ACOG has evidence of the safe, effective use of the vaccine, based on reports of tens of thousands of individuals. Yet, according to the news release fewer than one in four pregnant individuals have received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine.”
Misinformation about pregnancy and the vaccine is not new. A report published in the newspaper USA Today on July 25, 2021, noted that the publication’s reporters have debunked numerous claims about COVID-19 vaccines causing infertility and miscarriages.
An SMFM report says that 139,000 pregnant people have been vaccinated with no reports of increased risk of pregnancy loss, growth problems or birth defects. The vaccines do not cross the placenta, but the antibodies your body makes do. These antibodies can help protect your baby from COVID after birth.
Pregnancy without the vaccination increases the risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms, which can result in pregnancy complications, such as pre-term birth, pre-eclampsia, C-section and ICU admission. These risks are greater for women with underlying health conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
THE DELTA VARIANT
COVID-19 with the Delta variant represents even more trouble for unvaccinated pregnant people.
“Unlike the original COVID that we were seeing 18 months ago, the new Delta variant is affecting our pregnant moms more severely,” says OB/GYN Dr. Jessica Ehrig of Baylor Scott and White Medical Center (Temple, TX). “We’re seeing that moms who are being affected – particularly with Delta – are more likely to end up hospitalized and in the ICU. Unvaccinated pregnant women with Delta COVID-19 are more likely to need higher grade respiratory support, and unfortunately, we’re also seeing an increased risk of maternal death.”
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
SMFM and ACOG agree that you can get vaccinated anytime during pregnancy. If you are pregnant and want to know more about the vaccines, you can talk with your OBGYN. Even after a pregnant person is fully vaccinated, they should wear a mask indoors where there is a high COVID-19 infection rate.
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Sources include: McLeod Health, American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologist, Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center (Temple, TX), USA Today