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In-Depth: Should pregnant women receive COVID-19 vaccine?

Governor DeWine announces expectant mothers among those next in line to receive vaccine
Is light drinking while pregnant OK?
Posted at 3:35 PM, Mar 02, 2021

CLEVELAND — During his Monday news conference, Governor Mike DeWine announced the latest priority groups who will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, including expectant mothers.

“Although the actual risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 during pregnancy is low, it’s higher than that for non-pregnant people of the same age,” Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the chief medical officer of the Ohio Department of Health, explained during the announcement.

Dr. Vanderhoff added that women should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with your doctor prior to making a decision.

“If you’re pregnant and get sick with COVID-19, you’re at higher risk for being hospitalized in an intensive care unit and for requiring the help of a breathing machine,” he said. “In turn, that places you at higher risk of death. Research also suggests that having COVID-19 during pregnancy might increase the risk for premature delivery or premature birth for your baby.”

After the announcement, News 5 heard the comments made by many surrounding the safety of pregnant women receiving the vaccine, and asked several area hospitals about their recommendation, and if their recommendation varied depending on the manufacturer of the vaccine.

Each provided similar statements, which did not explicitly endorse to denounce vaccinations among pregnant women.

A spokesperson with The Cleveland Clinic told News 5:

Our experts are recommending the Johnson & Johnson vaccine the same like Pfizer and Moderna. Getting the vaccine while pregnant is a personal choice. Individuals who are pregnant should talk to their Ob/Gyn to help make a decision together.

A spokesperson with University Hospitals told News 5:

Currently, we’re suggesting that pregnant women talk with their own personal doctor about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to make the decision that is best for them.

A spokesperson with MetroHealth told News 5:

Pregnant women may choose to receive any of the current COVID-19 vaccines when eligible, including the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) or Johnson & Johnson. At this time, there is no reason to prefer one formulation over another for a pregnant woman.

Last month, Pfizer announced plans to begin testing pregnant women as part of a vaccine trial.

On the CDC’s website, the agency details how “getting vaccinated is a personal choice for people who are pregnant,” citing a lack of data.

“A conversation between pregnant patients and their clinicians may help them decide whether to get vaccinated with a vaccine that has been authorized for use under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA),” the agency said.

A March 1st CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Update Committee details how the agency has already tracked more than 30,000 vaccinated pregnant women.

COVID-19 vaccine safety update Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) March 1, 2021
COVID-19 vaccine safety update Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) March 1, 2021

The presentation summarized that "no unexpected pregnancy or infant outcomes have been observed related to COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy."

All expectant mothers in Ohio become eligible for a vaccine on Thursday.