CDC: New Data Show COVID-19 Vaccines Safe for Pregnant Women

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
August 11, 2021 Updated: August 11, 2021

New data show no increase in miscarriages among pregnant women who received a messenger RNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, signaling the vaccines are safe for the population, a U.S. health agency said Wednesday.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers analyzed numbers from v-safe, a voluntary phone-based surveillance system, and found the occurrence of miscarriages was similar among pregnant women who got a shot and the normal rate.

Miscarriage typically occurs in approximately 11- to 16-percent of pregnancies. The analysis found miscarriage rates post-vaccination were approximately 13 percent.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said after the results were released that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

“And it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible Delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people,” she said in a statement.

The new analysis said nothing about the Delta variant and emerging data indicate vaccines aren’t as effective against the variant as previous versions of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19. However, officials are still recommending vaccination because they say people who get a vaccine remain more protected against hospitalization and death versus the unvaccinated.

The CDC on Wednesday altered its guidance for pregnant women. Before, it said pregnant women “can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.” Now, it says COVID-19 vaccination “is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.”

Walensky in April said the CDC recommended pregnant women get a COVID-19 vaccine, but the agency later walked back her remarks, saying the agency wasn’t at that stage yet.

The CDC currently says pregnant and recently pregnant women are at low risk of experiencing severe cases of COVID-19. But it also says the population is at an increased risk of severe illness, when compared to non-pregnant people, and that there is no evidence that vaccines cause fertility problems or other safety issues.

That’s according to a growing body of evidence that has emerged after U.S. drug regulators granted emergency use authorization to the shots, including studies. However, the data are still “limited,” the agency acknowledges.

CDC
A general view of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., on Sept. 30, 2014. (Tami Chappell/Reuters)

The clinical trials that led to the authorization did not include pregnant women.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine last month recommended pregnant women get COVID-19 jabs.

“The organizations’ recommendations in support of vaccination during pregnancy reflect evidence demonstrating the safe use of the COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy from tens of thousands of reporting individuals over the last several months, as well as the current low vaccination rates and concerning increase in cases,” they said in a joint statement.

Only about 23 percent of pregnant women have received a COVID-19 vaccine, according to federal data current as of July 31.

A joint statement from the two organizations and a slew of other groups on Monday also urged pregnant women to get a COVID-19 vaccine, perhaps driving the CDC’s changing stance.

Still, questions exist concerning long-term effects of the vaccine, meaning the decision to get a shot isn’t as clear-cut as the CDC presents, Jennifer Lahl told The Epoch Times.

“This is a relatively new vaccine. We don’t know what the long term effect might be of a vaccine on the developing fetus,” said Lahl, an Epoch Times contributor and founder and president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture.

Because of the small sample sizes in the studies, including the CDC’s analysis, Lahl believes the data won’t be enough to convince women who have been hesitant to get a jab.

“I think that their claims are not going to do anything to help with the vaccine-hesitant, and especially in the case of pregnant women who are very concerned about getting COVID—rightly so—but also weighing that risk-benefit calculus between the vaccine and the unknowns of the vaccine,” she said.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.