Dr. Parashos explains why a pregnant woman or a woman who wants to become pregnant should be vaccinated.
There has been a lot of talk lately about whether vaccines developed against the coronavirus could have serious side effects during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and have an impact on fertility (the ability to get pregnant). Horrific scenarios are proliferating with no scientific basis, which, however, are of great concern to many pregnant women and couples who are planning a pregnancy.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no reason to believe that there are certain risks that outweigh the benefits of vaccination for pregnant women. Those who are at high risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2, such as those working in the healthcare sector or with underlying medical conditions that increase the risk of serious illness, should always get vaccinated after consulting their doctor.
Thanos Parashos, obstetrician-gynecologist, fertility specialist, director of the EmBIO Assisted Reproduction Center, based on current scientific evidence and scientific results, competently answered important questions.
Mr. Parashos, is the COVID-19 vaccine negatively affecting fertility?
No, COVID-19 vaccination will not affect fertility. Women who are actively trying to get pregnant can be vaccinated with an active drug for COVID-19, and there is no reason to postpone pregnancy until after vaccination is completed.
How serious can COVID-19 disease be in a pregnant woman?
Recent scientific evidence indicates an increased risk of hospitalization in an intensive care unit and the need for mechanical ventilation. In some cases, even deaths have been reported in pregnant women with symptomatic COVID-19.
Comorbidities and health conditions, as well as several other factors, can also increase the risk of severe illness. Vaccination against COVID-19 is essential, as recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Does a pregnant woman or a woman planning a pregnancy need to be vaccinated (two doses)?
It is important to clarify the following: Pregnant women with COVID-19 who have symptoms are at greater risk of serious illness and complications than non-pregnant women. In addition, many pregnant women have medical conditions that put them at even greater risk.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for pregnant women?
Yes, according to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 vaccines such as Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna have been administered to over 30,000 pregnant women (without any consequences). Of course, they should all discuss this with their doctor in order to analyze all the factors related to vaccination and pregnancy (in each individual case).
However, preliminary studies, for the toxicity of the vaccine or for influencing the reproductive system, showed a negative result, as not having a negative effect, including on the development of the fetus.
Can a pregnant woman get covid after a vaccine?
No, she cannot get COVID-19 from the available vaccines. Mild temporary side effects (ailments) may appear, but this is an indicator of an immune response to the vaccine, not to COVID-19.
What about women who are breastfeeding and not vaccinated?
It is believed that breastfeeding women are not at a higher risk of serious illness than non-pregnant women. Based on the available data, COVID-19 vaccination seems safe if you are breastfeeding. Although the effect of the vaccine on nursing mothers has not been studied, I think they should still be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Vaccines do not contain live viruses, so vaccination does not pose a danger to the child. If you want to get the coronavirus vaccine, you don’t need to postpone or stop breastfeeding.