COVID-19 VACCINE INFORMATION
To date, none of the clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccines included pregnant women as subjects. Therefore, there is not any direct data assessing the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in pregnancy. The vaccines represent a new type of vaccine (mRNA vaccine) that has not been previously licensed in the US. The COVID vaccines do not contain any active, weakened, or inactivated virus. They contain segments of viral RNA, which induce the cells in the vaccine recipient’s body to produce the “spike protein” of the coronavirus, which then leads to an immune response. While it is not likely that this type of immunization would lead to complications if given to a pregnant person, there are no direct data to confirm that.
Pregnant patients are at increased risk for serious complications from COVID-19, including increased risk of ICU admissions and death, like clinical experience with other respiratory viruses. In addition, COVID-19 infection during pregnancy has been associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery. On January 25, 2021, the WHO released a statement with interim recommendations regarding the Moderna vaccine in pregnant women. That document advises that due to the lack of currently available data regarding risks of the vaccine in pregnant women, the vaccine not be administered to pregnant women unless the benefit of vaccinating a pregnant woman outweighs the potential vaccine risks, such as in health workers at high risk of exposure and pregnant women with comorbidities placing them in a high-risk group for severe COVID-19. A similar interim statement from the WHO was published on January 8, 2021, regarding the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Despite this recent statement, the Task Force of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) does not recommend withholding the vaccine from patients who are planning to conceive, who are currently pregnant, or who are lactating. Further, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM) recently issued a statement on January 27th regarding COVID-19 vaccination in pregnant women following the WHO’s interim recommendations as above. ACOG and SMFM maintain that pregnant women should continue to be offered COVID-19 vaccines.
However, in the face of the new WHO recommendations, our physicians advise that until further data emerges, pregnant women should not receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine in the 1st trimester of pregnancy unless the above high-risk criteria are met, or they have weighed the risks and benefits themselves and feel that the benefits outweigh the risks.
We are very pleased to announce that Doctors Bateman, Smith, and Williams have received the Pfizer COVID vaccine and many of our staff members have received their vaccinations as well so that our office is as safe as possible for patient care.
Your safety and health are our utmost concerns. Many of our processes have been redesigned to minimize any risk related to COVID-19 and offer the safest and highest quality care possible.
All patients and staff must wear masks at all times. We have removed seating from our waiting room and have spaced out our patient visits significantly so that only a few patients can be in our clinic at one time. Our sterilization and patient flow strategies meet or exceed all recommendations and guidelines. Please click on this link for a complete list of all our risk lowering strategies we have incorporated to provide you the best care possible.
Please give us a call to start or resume your care with us. We are excited to see you!