WHO: Pregnant women should not get Moderna, Pfizer vaccines

Study: Pregnant women can pass coronavirus to their babies

The World Health Organization recommends against pregnant women getting either the Moderna or Pfizer coronavirus vaccines.

“Pregnant women are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 compared with women of childbearing age who are not pregnant, and COVID-19 has been associated with an increased risk of preterm birth,” WHO wrote Monday.

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A November analysis of more than 400,000 women 15-44 years old and diagnosed with COVID-19 revealed those who were pregnant had a 70% increased risk of dying compared to those who were not, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Even so, there isn’t enough data on the vaccines’ effects on pregnancy to give it the green light, the organization wrote.

“In the interim, WHO recommends not to use mRNA-1273 in pregnancy, unless the benefit of vaccinating a pregnant woman outweighs the potential vaccine risks, such as in health workers at high risk of exposure and pregnant women with co-morbidities placing them in a high-risk group for severe Covid-19,” WHO wrote.

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This guidance does not apply to women who are breastfeeding, however.

Because the mRNA-1273 vaccine is not a live virus, does not enter the nucleus of the cell and is degraded quickly, WHO wrote, “it is biologically and clinically unlikely to pose a risk to the breastfeeding child.”

Developmental and reproductive toxicology studies in animals have shown no harmful effects in pregnancy, and studies are planned in pregnant women in the coming months. As data from these studies become available, recommendations will be updated, WHO wrote.

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