ROANOKE, Va. – Health experts continue to urge people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as case numbers continue to rise across the country. And numbers are showing pregnant women have gotten vaccinated at a faster rate this past month.
When the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use authorization by the FDA back in December, two groups were left out of the study: children and pregnant women. Both of whom are historically left out of vaccination studies.
OB-GYN Dr. Jaclyn Nunziato says research shows more expectant mothers are now choosing to get vaccinated.
“From May to July only 16% of pregnant patients were vaccinated and now as of August 2, 24% of women,” said Dr. Nunziato. “That’s still a far, far stretch from the 49% of overall people who are vaccinated. And that is a far stretch from what we need. We really need to be over the 70% for vaccinations.”
Dr. Nunziato believes this could be because of more research being available.
According to The New England Journal of Medicine, out of the pregnant women who received the COVID-19 vaccine and participated in the journal’s study, 2.9% of participants suffered pregnancy loss. But doctors say this number is small compared to the average 10% to 20% of all pregnancies which result in a miscarriage.
“Not at any increase rate than normal, which means that’s negative, that’s no increased risk,” said Dr. Nunziato. “Infertility, the rate is high, a lot of people don’t know that. Miscarriages, the rate is high these days. It’s very reassuring that there has been no increased risk.”
Dr. Nunziato says it is up to women to take in the research and make the decision that is best for them.
“These decisions need to be clinical, shared decision making. And you need to feel comfortable with what you are choosing to do for yourself and your baby,” she said.