New Year, new vaccines. And praise the universe for that! With the roll out of the vaccines, the dark shadows of the pandemic are beginning to lift. We can see the promised post-COVID-19 sunny uplands on the horizon.
Three vaccines have so far been approved variously in the EU, US and UK. These are from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca. Additional ones available in some countries from companies based in India, Russia and China.
We know the benefits of reducing the symptoms of COVID-19. But what are the risks of these vaccines in terms of pregnancy and preparing for pregnancy?
The EU and UK product information for the Pfizer vaccine notes:
- There is limited experience in pregnant women. Pregnant women were excluded from the clinical trial, but 23 women did become pregnant during it with no harmful effects noted
- Animal studies indicate no harmful effects in pregnancy or post-natal development.
However, the EU and UK authorities advise, “Use in pregnancy should only be considered when the potential benefits outweigh any potential risks for the mother and foetus.”
The EU/UK product information for the Moderna vaccine is identical to the Pfizer vaccine.
- Pregnancy: there is limited experience with use of the Moderna vaccine in pregnant women
- Animal studies do not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects with respect to pregnancy, embryo/foetal development or post-natal development.
As with the Pfizer vaccine, the EU authorities advise that the vaccine should only be considered in pregnant women when the potential benefits outweigh any potential risks for the mother and unborn child.