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Experts weigh-in on pregnant women getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 5:46 AM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 08:00:04-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — When it comes to getting COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says pregnant women are five times more likely to end up in the hospital than a woman of the same age and health who isn't pregnant. When a woman is really sick with COVID-19, it can also force her body into labor. That could mean babies being born premature, and that could have life-long consequences.

Now that all adults are eligible to get the vaccine, we're taking a look at the concerns pregnant women face.

Across the country, 69,000 pregnant women have received the vaccine. Some health experts are recommending pregnant women get either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, because they've been out since last year, and the vast majority of research, studies and experience comes from them.

In fact one of those studies was done in Boston, and involved 84 pregnant women, who were given both vaccines. While the findings were very encouraging, doctors admit more research is needed.

"You have the baby in your body, your immune system goes down as to not attack it," said Dr. Katherine Apostolakis-Kyrus, with Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. "Your immune system is down, you're more likely to get sick, or have a harder time fighting infection," she explained.

For women who are breastfeeding, getting the shot can pass immunity onto their child.

As for people who are trying to decide whether to get vaccinated right now, doctors say weigh the benefits against the risks, and definitely have a conversation with your doctor.

Obstetricians are encouraging their pregnant patients to take part in the CDC's V-safe program, which is trying to gather as much data as possible to help others make informed decisions about getting the vaccine.

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