Is the coronavirus vaccine safe for pregnant women?

By NewsRadio 1020 KDKA

While receiving the COVID-19 vaccine for one's self is enough of a concern for some people, what about being vaccinated for two?

Receiving the vaccine while pregnant may sound disconcerting, but Dr. Michael Aziz, a maternal-fetal physician with Allegheny Health Network, told the KDKA Radio Morning Show that there's no reason for the concern.

"There is no theoretical risk that the vaccine can hurt your baby or be transferred to your baby or somehow get incorporated into your DNA or even impact your fertility," he said Wednesday.

Pregnancies are a high-risk health condition for women, but Dr. Aziz said the vaccine "should be as safe in a pregnant person as it is in a non-pregnant person."

Aziz also said that while the Coronavirus does not cross the placenta, which means that the baby is not at risk for contracting COVID-19, a pregnant mother who becomes sick runs the risk of having complications during pregnancy.

"Pregnant women with symptoms are more likely to end up with severe adverse outcomes like Intensive Care Unit admission, requiring a breathing tube and breathing machine and sometimes even requiring a heart-lung machine to keep them going."

According to Aziz, when the pregnant mother is sick, it puts the baby at risk for being born early, being born small or being miscarried.

Aziz did say that there is a concern about passing the virus onto a baby while breastfeeding the child, but he said the risk appears to have gone down. "Initially we were talking about separating the newborn babies from the COVID positive mothers, but our thinking about that has changed over time to where if we take adequate precautions, we can continue to breastfeed and continue to be in the same room as the newborn baby."

While studies with pregnant women have not been fully completed, Aziz says the nature of the mRNA base used in current COVID-19 vaccines doesn't indicate specific risks to people who are pregnant.

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