Medical experts discuss whether pregnant women should get vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for pregnant women

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Mid-South health experts weigh in on how they advise their pregnant patients regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Pregnancy is a very stressful time. They’re worried about not only themselves but their babies,” said Aric Giddens, OB/GYN with Baptist Women’s Hospital.

With the ongoing pandemic, pregnant women are wondering whether or not to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Nikia Grayson is the Director of Clinical Services at CHOICES.

She said some of her patients are hesitant when it comes to wanting to be vaccinated, but some of them are at greater risk for the virus because they are frontline workers.

“Our recommendation usually is if their risk of exposure is great then they probably should get the vaccine,” said Grayson.

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In January the World Health Organization announced that they could not recommend pregnant women be vaccinated unless they were at high risk.

After receiving backlash, their position changed and now lines up with the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendation which advises pregnant women to consult their doctors about being vaccinated.

Dr. Giddens said clinical trials for the vaccines did not include pregnant women from the start.

“Neither vaccine was studied specifically in a pregnant population. Pfizer does have some data in their studies about pregnant women who became pregnant when they got the vaccine or shortly thereafter, and they’re following them,” he explained.

Grayson and Giddens both said pregnant women are at a greater risk of becoming severely ill if they contract COVID-19.

Even with the lack of data, the experts said pregnant mothers have reason to be optimistic when it comes to being vaccinated.

“There are no reports of adverse outcomes of pregnant women receiving the vaccine,” Giddens stated, “So I think that’s very encouraging.”

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