Over the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the headlines. In 2021, vaccines became available to prevent severe COVID-19 infection. However, this has also brought up numerous questions around how the vaccine affects other aspects of health. For example, some have wondered whether any relationship exists between the vaccine and pregnancy.
According to Medical XPress, one barrier to vaccine acceptance is concerns around the safety of receiving the vaccine during pregnancy. A study, co-led by Yale University researchers, sought to understand the link between the COVID-19 vaccine and preterm birth. Ultimately, the researchers found that no such link exists; the vaccine does not increase the risk, and all pregnant individuals are encouraged to become vaccinated if they are not already.
If you are interested in learning more, the study findings were published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
COVID-19 and Pregnancy
In the past, Patient Worthy reported on a study which found that COVID-19 infection could increase the risk of preeclampsia. However, there was little data available (prior to now) on how the vaccine could increase the risk of pregnancy-related issues. Of course, this has caused some concern and hesitancy from people who want to ensure that they will not harm their babies.
Within this particular study, researchers examined data from over 40,000 pregnant people. Data was sourced from both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Through data analysis, the researchers explored the relationship between COVID-19 vaccines, preterm birth, and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infants. Preterm birth refers to birth occurring before 37 weeks; SGA refers to infants delivered at a smaller-than-normal size, which increases the risk of mortality or health issues.
- Approximately 22% of pregnant individuals in this study had received at least one COVID-19 vaccination, with a majority of vaccinations occurring during the 2nd or 3rd trimesters.
- Pregnant individuals were found to be at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection.
- The vaccinations were shown to have no relationship with SGA or preterm birth.
Because of the findings, the researchers and the CDC urge those who are pregnant to become vaccinated.