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Leading health agencies now urging vaccine for pregnant and breastfeeding women

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(WAOW) -- The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Centers for Disease Control are now urging pregnant and breastfeeding women to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Both agencies say the benefits of being vaccinated far outweigh the theoretical risk for these patients.

“It is certainly understandable to be concerned about potential adverse effects of the vaccine for your fetus while you’re still pregnant, or for your newborn after you deliver and are potentially breastfeeding,” said Dr. Michael Beninati, critical care and maternal fetal medicine specialist, UW Health.

“But the overwhelming scientific evidence has shown that the vaccine is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding people and their babies.”

Three important things to consider, according to Beninati:

  1. Safety data continue to come in about how COVID-19 vaccines affect pregnant people, showing there are no demonstrable increases in side effects such as infertility, birth defects and stillbirth.
  2. Clear data from ACOG and the CDC say that people who are pregnant and contract COVID-19 often have more severe disease and worse outcomes for mom and baby as compared to non-pregnant patients. The vaccines overwhelmingly protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death. Additionally, the vaccine provides early immunity to fetuses and newborns.
  3. National and international organizations now recommend the vaccines for pregnant and breastfeeding patients.

For more information, you check in with the CDC and ACOG.