Coronavirus: CDC recommends pregnant people get vaccinated against COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday recommended that pregnant people get vaccinated against COVID-19, citing new evidence that shows no increased risk of miscarriage among people who have been vaccinated.

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“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,” officials said in updated guidance posted online Wednesday.

“Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.”

>> See the full CDC guidance for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Officials emphasized that in addition to finding no increased risk of miscarriage, data has shown no increased risk of infertility in immunized people.

Pregnant people who are unvaccinated face an increased risk of illness and pregnancy complications associated with COVID-19, according to the CDC. However, as of July 31, the last date for which data was available, only about 23% of pregnant people had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, CDC data shows.

The new recommendations for health officials come after CDC officials analyzed new safety data from 2,500 women which showed no increased risk of miscarriage for those who received at least one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines before 20 weeks of pregnancy, The Associated Press reported. Officials determined the miscarriage rate for the group to be around 13%, which is within the normal range, according to the AP.

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Previously, the CDC said pregnant women were eligible to receive the vaccine but made no specific recommendations about its use, according to The Washington Post.

The updated guidance comes two days after a group of top obstetric organizations and medical professionals, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, urged pregnant individuals, people planning to become pregnant and people who are breastfeeding to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“With cases rising as a result of the Delta variant, the best way for pregnant individuals to protect themselves against the potential harm from COVID-19 infection is to be vaccinated,” the groups said in a joint statement.

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“Maternal care experts want the best outcomes for their patients, and that means both a healthy parent and a healthy baby. Data from tens of thousands of reporting individuals have shown that the COVID-19 vaccine is both safe and effective when administered during pregnancy.”

About 59% of the total U.S. population has gotten at least one vaccine dose as of Tuesday, according to the latest CDC data. Just over 50% of all American have so far been fully vaccinated.

Nationwide, 36 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, resulting in over 618,000 deaths, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University. In the last 28 days, officials have recorded 2.1 million new COVID-19 cases across the U.S., resulting in more than 10,400 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.