Health groups are issuing new recommendations urging pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, expectant mothers are more likely to become severely ill with COVID-19 than non-pregnant women. They're also more likely to go into labor prematurely and experience other adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Wake Forest Baptist Health's Andrea Fernandez says the low vaccination rate among new moms — nationally just over 20% — is concerning and adds that it's being driven largely by misinformation over blood clots, health of the baby, and infertility.
"They are safe for women that are trying to conceive," says Fernandez. "None of the COVID vaccines that are available will decrease the success of infertility treatments. And then those that are pregnant, we have not shown that the vaccine hurts babies. It does not cause miscarriage. And the risk of blood clots from COVID-19 vaccination is extremely small, like in a rate of one in a million."
Fernandez says several new studies show that moms who receive their vaccine during pregnancy pass on COVID-19 antibodies to their baby, much in the same way as vaccines like those taken for whooping cough.
The latest recommendations come from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.