The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday urged pregnant women and women who were recently pregnant to get vaccinated for COVID-19, saying there was mounting evidence that the benefits of the vaccine far outweighed any known or potential risks.
The CDC said on its website that the current COVID-19 vaccines were recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant.
The agency also said that although the overall risk of severe illness was low, pregnant and recently pregnant women were more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with nonpregnant women. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect them from severe illness.
The CDC cited studies in animals that received a Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine before or during pregnancy, and no safety concerns in the pregnant animals or their babies were found.
The agency also analyzed new safety data on 2,500 women and found no increased risks of miscarriage for those who received at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy. The analysis found a miscarriage rate of around 13%, within the normal range.
The CDC also recommended the vaccinations for women who were breastfeeding.
“The rise in cases, vaccine hesitancy and the increased risk of severe illness for pregnant people make vaccination against COVID-19 more urgent than ever,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Twitter.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.