Pregnant physicians say benefits of COVID-19 vaccine outweigh risks

Many pregnant physicians are opting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine despite a lack of clinical trial data, reports Medpage Today.

Hilary Shapiro, MD, chief cardiology fellow at Los Angeles-based UCLA Health, received her first shot at 30 weeks after "lots of reading and discussing with my doctors," she said in a Jan. 7 tweet.

Denise Vilchez Cardenal, MD, an OB-GYN at Ob Hospitalist Group and St. Lucie (Fla.) Medical Center received her first vaccine dose at 31 weeks. Both physicians said they felt the vaccine's benefits outweigh potential risks, especially for clinicians working in a hospital or treating COVID-19 patients.

"The decision is very personal. It should be something that [pregnant women] discuss with their physicians," Dr. Cardenal told Medpage Today. "For my situation, I thought it was essential to get the vaccine to be protected, for myself, for my unborn baby and for my family at home."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine recommend offering COVID-19 vaccines to pregnant women.

Pfizer and Moderna's phase 3 clinical vaccine trials did not enroll pregnant women, but animal trials have shown no sign of the vaccines having adverse effects on developing embryos, Linda Eckert, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said in a Dec. 23 video release.

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