The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that while pregnant women were initially excluded from vaccine trials, more than 10,000 pregnant women have been in trials since the Food and Drug Administration issued Emergency Use Authorization to vaccine makers like Pfizer and Moderna.
“The FDA, as part of the typical follow-up you have following the initial issuing of an EUA, have found thus far…no red flags,” he said.
He added that “many of the pregnant women” in the trials “were health care providers” who were exposed to COVID-19 and opted to take their “chances” with the vaccine rather than become infected with COVID-19, which some medical experts say could have an adverse effect on pregnancy or pregnant women.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in Jan. 7 guidance that pregnant women in groups that have been recommended to receive the virus, such as health care workers followed by essential frontline workers, may choose to get the vaccine.
The CDC noted that pregnant women should take into account that there is limited data on how vaccines affect pregnant women and that being infected with COVID-19 while pregnant can increase the risk of experiencing severe illness.
The World Health Organization said in a Jan. 8 article that it does not recommend pregnant women take the vaccine “at this time,” unless “a pregnant woman has an unavoidable risk high of exposure (e.g. a health worker),” in which case “vaccination may be considered in discussion with their healthcare provider.”
On the other hand, WHO’s Moderna vaccine webpage, updated on Jan. 26, says the organization does not “have any specific reason to believe there will be specific risks that would outweigh the benefits of vaccination for pregnant women.”
Fauci added that data from studies involving children and the COVID-19 vaccine will likely be available by spring or summer of this year.