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Pregnant Women Show No Worse Symptoms After COVID Vaccines

The U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention recently recommended that all pregnant women get a COVID vaccine. As of the end of July, just 23% of pregnant women in the U.S. were vaccinated and the percentage was even lower among Black and Hispanic women, according to the CDC.

If you’re pregnant and worried that getting a COVID-19 vaccine might trigger severe side effects, you can relax

New research shows that pregnant women and new mothers don’t suffer more reactions after a shot than other women do.

“Pregnant people do well with the vaccine,” Dr. Alisa Kachikis, lead study author and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington in Seattle, says.

In January, she set up a website and invited women to describe their reactions after receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 shot. Sixty-two percent of respondents received the Pfizer vaccine.

By March, 17,525 women had responded — mostly in the United States. Of those, 44% were pregnant; 38% were breastfeeding, and 15% were planning a pregnancy soon. There is no current evidence that COVID vaccines affect fertility. Getting vaccinated prior to pregnancy is a great way to ensure that you are protected throughout your pregnancy. Getting vaccinated prior to pregnancy is also a great way to pass antibodies to your newborn if you are planning to breastfeed.

Women reported pain at the injection site (91%); fatigue (31%); and an average temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit after their shots. A small number (between 5% and 7%) reported a decrease in milk supply, according to findings published Aug. 17 in the journal JAMA Network Open.

expected from a vaccine,” according to Dr. Linda Eckert, senior author and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University.

Eckert says she hopes the new study will reassure pregnant women.

“Not only is the vaccine safe, our research shows just how well the vaccine is tolerated in pregnant individuals — which is a common fear I hear from my patients,” she says. “In contrast, we are continuing to learn more and more about just how dangerous COVID-19 infections are in pregnancy.”As of now, 20,000 women are enrolled in the ongoing study and new respondents continue to post comments about their experiences.

Eckert says the study shows that pregnant women tolerate the vaccine well and should be included in clinical trials for other relevant vaccines.

“I think this gives a level of evidence to advocate for Phase 3 trials [for pregnant individuals] in the future,” she said.