How would the virus affect pregnant or breastfeeding women and what health risks would they face? Should they get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Here are the answers from CDC to your concerns

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offered an emphatic answer to those questions on Aug.11:

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.

Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.

There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.

Pregnant and Recently Pregnant People Are at Increased Risk for Severe Illness from COVID-19

The CDC claims although the overall risk of severe illness is low, pregnant and recently pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared with non-pregnant people. Severe illness includes illness that requires hospitalization, intensive care, need for a ventilator or special equipment to breathe, or illness that results in death. Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 are at increased risk of preterm birth and might be at increased risk of other adverse pregnancy outcomes, compared with pregnant women without COVID-19.

It has found no safety concerns for pregnant people in either the new analysis or earlier studies. It said miscarriage rates after vaccination were similar to the expected rate. Pregnant women can receive any of the three vaccines given emergency authorization – Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson.

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Reference: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding, Published online Aug. 11

Channel News Asia: Pregnant women should be vaccinated against COVID-19: CDC, Published online Aug. 12