One of the largest reports on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy supports evidence that it is safe although the authors say more comprehensive research is needed. The preliminary results are based on reports from over 35,000 US women who received either Moderna or Pfizer shots while pregnant. Their miscarriage rates, premature births and other complications were similar to those observed in published reports on pregnant women before the pandemic.
The new evidence from researchers at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
None of the women who took part received the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine, which became available after the study, and is now in limbo as US authorities examine reports of blood clots in a handful of women.
Separately, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine on Tuesday approved vaccination during pregnancy, based on evidence it has been evaluating for over a year.
“Everyone, including pregnant women and those trying to conceive, should receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective, ” the association said in a statement.
An association representative said the group has not evaluated the latest evidence on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists representative said the CDC’s report was promising but needed longer-term follow-up. That group has previously said that COVID-19 vaccination should be available to pregnant and breastfeeding women, and many US pregnant women have opted for vaccination.
Although pregnant women were excluded from studies that resulted in an urgent authorization for the vaccines, evidence showed no harm in women who were unknowingly pregnant when they enrolled.
Dr. Laura Riley, ob-gyn chair at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, said the new results were encouraging.
” It’s great to have data to share with our patients who continue to weigh up the risks and benefits of vaccination, “he said.” They know the possible complications of COVID infection during pregnancy and now have some safety data in human pregnancy. ”
Pregnant women infected with the coronavirus are at increased risk for complications including intensive care hospital admission, premature birth and death.
The study’s authors, led by Dr. Tom Shimabukuro of the CDC, said that continuous monitoring is needed and more evidence is needed including on women receiving COVID-19 vaccinations in the early stages of pregnancy.
Their study included information on 35,691 pregnant women in the US who participated in a voluntary smartphone-based vaccination surveillance system and received Moderna or Pfizer vaccines between mid-December 2020 and the end of February.
It also included reports on pregnancy complications from nearly 4,000 women enrolled in the U.S. vaccine safety registry. Of these, 86% or 712 resulted in live birth, mainly in women who were vaccinated in the third term.
Most women in the surveillance group reported pain at an injection site but more severe responses were less common. Pregnant women appeared more prone to injection site pain with both vaccines but less likely to experience other responses than non-pregnant women.
In the vaccine registry, about 13% of pregnant women reported miscarriages, less than 1% of stillbirths, 9% of premature births and 2% of birth defects. Those rates are all within the same range seen in reports of pregnant women before the pandemic.
This story was published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the heading has been changed.