Vaccines for COVID-19 have brought joy and relief to many. But the question still remains if the vaccines are safe for pregnant women.
Pregnancy can make a conceived woman be more prone to illness. It raises the risks of pregnant women getting severely ill if the woman got infected with the virus.
Should pregnant women consider themselves to receive the shots against the COVID-19 infection with the coronavirus vaccines around?
The data on the effectiveness of the vaccine, including the side-effects on pregnant women and their fetuses, is scarce. It becomes a difficult choice whether to opt for the vaccine or not.
But many expectant mothers are taking part in the clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine. The pharma giant Pfizer with the German partner BioNTech is working on vaccine trials on pregnant women. They want to prove the effectiveness and safety of their vaccine if administered to a pregnant woman.
There is only negligible data yet for the vaccine trials on expectant mothers.
Pregnant Women Participating In The COVID-19 Vaccine Trials
Caitynn Ott from Silver Bow County, Montana, found out that she is pregnant with her third child. Her doctor told her about the clinical trials by the Pfizer/BioNTech company against COVID-19. She is one among many expectant mothers who eagerly agreed to enroll herself for the trial.
Ott, who is in a nursing school, found this excited to be a part of this clinical trial. She said that she knows that the research on the vaccine safety on an expectant mother and the child in her womb is not well-researched yet. But this is the very reason to go for the vaccine trial to produce a significant number of statistics upon this issue.
Though her husband and the family members were worried and even reluctant about this decision, Ott still went for the enrollment. Their concern s valid as with little or no information about the vaccine, Ott could not be sure if the vaccine is not going to harm her baby.
But she managed to persuade her husband and family, saying that the pharma giant would not have initiated such a clinical trial on expectant mothers if it wasn’t safe. Over the more, she is more worried about the virus itself than the unknown aftermaths of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The clinical trial was launched last week. Pfizer-BioNTech started the clinical trial on pregnant women, which is the first of its kind in the United States. Maternal health advocates are also supporting the move and said that this kind of trial was long overdue.
Dr. Laura Riley is a chair of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Immunization, Infectious Diseases and Public Health Preparedness Expert Work Group.
According to her, many professionals do believe in finding a safe way that can include pregnant women in clinical trials. She said that when pregnant women are left out of such trials, it seems they are at exactly the same spot as always during the pandemic—with no information, leaving pregnant women to always think about infection while pregnant is of no help.
She also added that receiving vaccine shots during pregnancy is not uncommon. They are given shots for flu or whooping cough, or any other infection for which abundant safety data is available. But they are always left out when it comes to large-scale clinical research for vaccines.
But this time, the threat is still continuing with the frequently mutating SARS-Cov2 virus. This time it is not okay to leave pregnant women behind.
The Pfizer-BioNTech trial is expecting at least 4,000 pregnant women around the globe to get enrolled in the clinical trial. The plan is to give a vaccine shot to 50% while the rest be given a placebo. With this, huge data to back the safety of the vaccines will be generated.