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CDC says ‘pregnant people’ should get the COVID-19 vaccine

Ailan Evans, DCNF

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging pregnant and breastfeeding women to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC issued updated guidance Wednesday, saying pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and recommended they get vaccinated against the virus. The agency’s recommendations match those of major obstetrician organizations.

“The rise in cases, vaccine hesitancy, and the increased risk of severe illness for pregnant people make vaccination against COVID-19 more urgent than ever,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday, adding that “vaccination is essential to protect pregnant people.”

The agency cited a preliminary study which found no evidence vaccines were associated with a higher rate of miscarriage.

“These findings add to accumulating evidence that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy are safe,” the study read.

An earlier study cited in the updated guidance “did not show obvious safety signals among pregnant persons who received mRNA Covid-19 vaccines,” but also failed to find evidence of increased risk.

The CDC also suggested the shot may protect the baby as well as the mother.

“Recent reports have shown that breastfeeding people who have received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies,” the agency said.

While the CDC acknowledged potential side effects of the vaccine, the agency did not believe pregnant women to be at greater risk.

“Pregnant people have not reported different side effects from non-pregnant people after vaccination with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines,” the agency said.

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