CDC backtracks director's statement recommending COVID-19 shot for pregnant women

The CDC said its vaccine guidance for pregnant women has not changed, despite the agency's director last week advising pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine, CBS News reported April 27. 

"CDC recommends that pregnant people receive the COVID-19 vaccine," Rochelle Walensky, MD, the agency's director, said during an April 23 White House COVID-19 news conference. "We know that this is a deeply personal decision and I encourage people to talk to their doctors or primary care providers to determine what is best for them and their baby." 

Dr. Walensky's comments came after a study published April 12 by CDC researchers found the shot doesn't pose serious safety risks for pregnant women.

The agency's official guidance for pregnant women, however, remains unchanged, the CDC told CBS

The guidance does not give an outright recommendation that pregnant women get the shot. It says that "pregnant people are eligible and can receive a COVID-19 vaccine," with the agency clarifying to CBS that guidance "has always been and remains CDC's recommendation." 

"If facing decisions about whether to receive a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant, people should consider risk of exposure to COVID-19, the increased risk of severe infection while pregnant, the known benefits of vaccination, and the limited but growing evidence about the safety of COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy," a CDC spokesperson told CBS.


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