PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Thousands of health care workers have now received the coronavirus vaccine, including those who are pregnant or nursing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration left the door open for women who are pregnant or nursing to choose if they would like the vaccine in a decision that was unexpected but welcomed by many health experts.
Little data is available on the coronavirus vaccine in pregnant or nursing women, who were not included in any trials. However, the CDC says the vaccine is unlikely to pose a risk to people who are pregnant because of the way mRNA vaccines, like the coronavirus vaccine, work.
Many pregnant or nursing health care workers are making the decision of whether to get the vaccine.
UPMC’s Dr. Kacie Kidd is pregnant and due in April. She says she has followed coronavirus vaccine research closely and received the first of two shots Saturday.
“When I found out I would be eligible to receive the vaccine in order of need with my co-workers, I was extremely grateful,” she said.
Kidd says she made her decision through discussions with her doctor, her own research and considering the potentially negative outcomes of COVID-19 in pregnant women.
According to the CDC, pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
“I know that I made the right decision for me and my baby, and I encourage my patients and other pregnant folks to seek information and guidance from their medical providers to make sure that they can make that same decision for themselves,” Kidd said.
As an OBGYN with UPMC, Dr. Jamie Wright has conversations with her patients about the coronavirus vaccine frequently.
“As soon as information about the vaccine came out, we were flooded with emails and phone calls from our pregnant patients and our breastfeeding moms about what to do,” Wright said.
Wright also decided to get the vaccine while breastfeeding her daughter, who is almost one year old.
She says she cares for women in labor who have COVID-19 and wanted the additional protection from the virus.
“Because of my exposure, it was really important to me to receive the vaccine, but I’m also really glad this kind of gives women the choice, “she said.
The CDC’s guidance for the coronavirus vaccine in pregnant and nursing women is here.