CDC Updates COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance for Pregnant Women

The federal agency recommends that all women who are pregnant, recently pregnant, and planning to become pregnant get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their guidance to recommend all women who are pregnant, recently pregnant, and planning to become pregnant to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

’The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD said.

The surging delta variant has caused a large uptick in the incidence rates in just the last few weeks and has affected unvaccinated adults and children.

According to the new guidance released today, studies are showing pregnant and recently pregnant women are at a greater likelihood of getting severely ill from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people.

The CDC also said underlying medical conditions, being older than 25 years, and environments are all risk factors that could contribute to a greater chance of severe COVID-19.

Although the CDC guidance did not specify which underlying medical conditions, it did mention health care workers who might work in environments where they cannot keep at least 6 feet apart from people who might be sick.

The CDC referenced several studies and data showing the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were safe. Specifically, early data did not find any safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated or their babies.

Another example came from a report using the v-safe pregnancy registry who were vaccinated before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Investigators said they did not find an increased risk for miscarriage among pregnant women who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition to vaccination of expecting mothers helping themselves, antibodies might protect babies too. “Antibodies made after a pregnant person received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine were found in umbilical cord blood,” the CDC reported.

The CDC said it was continuing studies in this area and the vaccine manufacturers were collecting data on pregnant women and vaccines.