Is it really safe?
Now that we’re spending yet another year online schooling our children, wondering whether or not we should let them play outside and sanitizing every surface we can, we’ve been greeted with the wonderful news that there’s finally a vaccine for COVID-19. But here’s the question: is it really safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers? Here’s what we found out:
What pregnant and breastfeeding moms need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine
While more and more people around the world are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, there are still many questions on whether the vaccine is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. After all, while it’s already been approved by various regulatory boards, the FDA’s Dr. Peter Marks maintains that he does not recommend the vaccine for pregnant women right now. Pretty confusing, right? So what should pregnant and breastfeeding moms do?
Pick the right vaccine
According to Dr. Gerry Syquia, a primary and occupational health physician, the safety of the vaccine depends on the vaccine one chooses. “The mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) studies in animals have not been found to affect fertility or pregnancy. Though no human trials have been made, we also know that other vaccines are generally safe for use with pregnancy and some are even recommended.” ” says Dr. Gerry.
Understand that it isn’t guaranteed 100% safe
Neither the pharmaceutical companies, nor the FDA, can definitively say that the vaccines are 100% safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Also, take note that there is no affirmative data available on the effects of the vaccine on pregnant or breastfeeding women aside from animals. However, there is also no affirmative data that is it unsafe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is just too early to say so for sure.
Before you consider the vaccine — or any vaccine for that matter, know that there is always a risk versus benefit consideration. Research suggests that COVID-19 may increase the risk of premature birth in pregnant women, particularly for those who have severe COVID.
As mentioned above, the risk of developmental defects are unknown but believed to be low to nil, but the repercussions of severe illness, death, “long COVID-19” illness are high. And, as mentioned above, the risk of premature birth are significantly higher. Also, if you are a healthcare worker or at high-risk for COVID-19 (cashiers, PUV drivers and other non-medical frontliners), perhaps the vaccine is something you should consider — even if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Whatever your decision may be, think about your risk of exposure and speak to your obstetrician first. Weigh your options well and speak to your physician so you can make an informed decision. You’ve got this!
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