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COVID-19 Vaccines Safe During Pregnancy

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COVID-19 Vaccines Safe During Pregnancy

For today’s Quick Question, Dr. Lynn Mitchell, CMO of OU Health Physicians and Associate Dean of the OU College of Medicine, looks at the COVID-19 vaccine, pregnancy and future fertility.

I continue to hear individuals raise questions about COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy, future fertility and other related topics. I asked some of our colleagues to share their thoughts on the current COVID situation and what they tell their patients and others when these questions arise.

Thanks to Dr. LaTasha Craig, Professor, Fellowship Director and Section Chief of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, for sharing the thoughts you see below.

“Pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to have severe illness, including ICU admission, being on a ventilator, preterm birth and death. There are multiple studies regarding the safety of the vaccine in those trying to conceive and those that are pregnant.

“Our three national organizations (the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), as well as the CDC recommend that patients who are planning to conceive or who are currently pregnant receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccine does NOT cross the placenta, induce antibodies against the placenta, increase the risk of miscarriage or impact male infertility, female fertility or fertility treatment outcomes. A recent study with over 35,000 pregnant women that received the COVID-19 vaccine did not show an increase risk of any pregnancy complications, including miscarriage.”

Dr. Marvin Williams, Professor of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, agrees and shares some of his thoughts around these topics as well:

“What's most concerning is that pregnancy data has shown that those pregnant patients infected by COVID-19 are at increased risk for severe complications and even death. In spite of these concerns, data from the CDC demonstrates that only about 22% of pregnant patients have received the vaccine.

“Our various national societies are making a solid push for supporting vaccination during pregnancy, especially in light of the significant increases in COVID-19 due to the Delta variant. Recent data have shown that more than 95% of those who are hospitalized and/or dying from COVID-19 are those who have remained unvaccinated. ACOG encourages its members to recommend vaccination to their patients enthusiastically, and SMFM strongly recommends that pregnant people get vaccinated. Vaccination is safe before, during or after pregnancy.

“I have encouraged my patients to get vaccinated as soon as possible because widespread vaccines are the best chance to save lives and end this pandemic.”

Thank you, Dr. Craig and Dr. Williams, for sharing. I will send out some additional thoughts they shared regarding other topics in the future. As always, thanks for all you do.

— Lynn