No evidence COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe for pregnant women, early CDC data shows

Early data suggests the COVID-19 vaccine does not pose serious safety risks for pregnant women, CDC researchers said in a study published April 21 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers analyzed self-reported data from 35,691 pregnant women who received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine between Dec. 14, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021. 

The research is still preliminary but represents the largest ever conducted on COVID-19 vaccine safety in pregnant women, reports The New York Times.

Pregnant women reported similar side effects — such as pain at the injection site, fatigue and headaches — as women who were not pregnant. Pregnant women were slightly more likely to experience pain at the injection site and nausea or vomiting after the second dose, but less likely to have other side effects, the research shows.

By the end of the study period, 827 women who signed up for a special registry to track outcomes had completed their pregnancies, and 86 percent resulted in live births. Researchers found the women had similar rates of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth rate and birth defects compared to pregnant women before the pandemic.  

While these early findings are reassuring, more long-term research is still needed, researchers said. More data on vaccinations in the first trimester is required, as the study included a small sample and mostly covered outcomes from third-trimester vaccination, they said.

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