"The hypothetical risks of the vaccine were less concerning to me than the known risks of contracting the coronavirus," said a mom-to-be.By Kristine Sorensen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Many pregnant women were unsure whether to get the COVID vaccine because it wasn’t tested on pregnant women, but a new study just out indicates it is safe for both the women and their unborn babies.

A family of three is about to become a family of five. Carrie Nedwidek of Ben Avon is pregnant with twin girls.

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She said at first she was unsure whether to get the COVID vaccine, but she knew that studies showed pregnant women have a significantly higher risk of death and complications from COVID.

After talking with her doctors, she got the Moderna vaccine in February and March.

“The hypothetical risks of the vaccine were less concerning to me than the known risks of contracting the coronavirus,” she said.

Now it’s not hypothetical anymore. A new study from the CDC in The New England Journal of Medicine looked at more than 35,000 pregnant women and found the side effects were similar to those of people who are not pregnant. It also found there was no difference in pregnancy outcomes compared with women before the pandemic.

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Dr. Richard Beigi, OB/GYN and president of UPMC Magee Women’s Hospital, says pregnant women need to weigh the risk of getting COVID with the benefit and risk of getting the COVID vaccine.

“They really need to weigh risk and benefit of, in my opinion, dwindling set of risk profile and increasing benefit profile considering we know it helps prevent disease quite effectively,” said Dr. Beigi.

Dr. Beigi says this type of vaccine has been safe for pregnant women in the past, so doctors believed the COVID vaccine would be safe too, and now research is showing that.

“We’ve never believed these would be harmful. There’s no reason to believe these would be harmful. And now we’re starting to see data that is corroborating that belief,” said Dr. Beigi.

Nedwidek said, “It’s so important for women who are pregnant to think about their own health, because keeping yourself healthy is the best thing that you can do for your baby and your family.”

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More research needs to be done into how pregnant women and newborns do when the mom gets the vaccine in the first and second trimester. Those babies will be born soon so we’ll know more in the coming months.

Kristine Sorensen