CDC recommends pregnant people get COVID-19 vaccine

UNDATED – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that pregnant people get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a press conference on Friday.

Her comment follows a new study that found no safety concerns among a large group of pregnant people who received the vaccine in their third trimester, and no safety concerns for their babies.

“As such, CDC recommends that pregnant people receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 briefing. “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 for their baby.”

The CDC vaccine guidelines online had not been updated by early Friday afternoon. The online guidelines said that pregnant women may receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available, and getting vaccinated is a personal choice, but did not say the vaccine is recommended.

On Wednesday, the New England Journal of Medicine published preliminary findings from CDC scientists that determined that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna do not appear to pose any serious risk during pregnancy.

Last month, another study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found mRNA Covid-19 vaccines are effective in pregnant and lactating women, and they can pass protective antibodies to newborns.

Clinical trials of the vaccines did not include pregnant people so there was limited data on the safety of vaccination in pregnant people and babies. Scientists intend to follow up with the pregnant people in the study to assess the long-term safety of the vaccine during pregnancy.