Important News: COVID-19 Vaccine Update

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Important News: COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Pregnant woman getting the COVID vaccine

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine Issues New Guidance

 Recommending Pregnant Women Get COVID-19 Vaccinations

As COVID-19 cases rise throughout the United States because of the highly contagious delta variant, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) COVID Task Force has issued new guidance. It recommends that reproductive endocrinologists strongly urge their patients to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they already are not vaccinated. This recommendation applies to both patients trying to conceive and those who are pregnant.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now recommending that all pregnant and breastfeeding women SHOULD get the vaccine when it previously was stated that pregnant and breastfeeding women CAN safely get the vaccine.

The current COVID-19 surge has become a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated,’ with severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths centered on those who have not yet received the vaccine, and who particularly live in states with low vaccination rates.

During pregnancy, women are at increased risk for infection and subsequent pregnancy complications and it is paramount that women protect themselves and their babies with this effective and safe vaccine. Unfortunately, the current CDC data shows that only 16.3% of pregnant women have received greater than one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

On August 23, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration gave full authorization to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Full authorization is pending for the Moderna vaccine.

The ASRM COVID Task Force recommends the following:

  • Reproductive endocrinologists should discuss COVID-19 vaccination with all patients and encourage vaccination for all patients during evaluation and treatment for infertility. Vaccination either pre-conception or early during pregnancy is the best way to reduce maternal/fetal complications. Physician counseling has been shown to have significant positive impact on patient willingness to consider vaccination.
  • None of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines reach or cross the placenta. The intramuscularly administered vaccine mRNA remains in the deltoid muscle cell cytoplasm for just a few days before it is destroyed. However, protective antibodies to COVID19 have been shown to cross the placenta and confer protection to the baby after delivery.
  • COVID-19 vaccination does not induce antibodies against the placenta.
  • Existing data suggest COVID19 vaccination during pregnancy does not increase risk of miscarriage.
  • COVID-19 vaccination does not impact male or female fertility or fertility treatment outcomes.

If you have any questions about the vaccine, especially in relation to fertility and pregnancy, please contact Dr. Lori Arnold at CACRM.

References

Patient Management and Clinical Recommendations During The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

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