Is the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine safe for pregnant women?

San Antonio doctor breaks down why the WHO did not recommend Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for most pregnant women

The pandemic continues to lead to an evolving wealth of information, both for the coronavirus and the vaccines.
The pandemic continues to lead to an evolving wealth of information, both for the coronavirus and the vaccines.

SAN ANTONIO – The pandemic continues to lead to an evolving wealth of information, both for the coronavirus and the vaccines.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday that it would not recommend the Moderna vaccine to pregnant women unless they are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19, but that doesn’t necessarily mean pregnant women should steer clear.

Dr. Patrick Ramsey, medical director of inpatient obstetric services at University Hospital, says his patients and colleagues bring in a steady stream of questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

KSAT asked him the following:

Why did the World Health Organization announce it would not recommend the Moderna vaccine to pregnant women?

“They’re being extra careful, and they even cite that. It’s not recommended because they have insufficient data,” Ramsey said.

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Ramsey says the WHO had a similar stance with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Pregnant women were not part of the vaccine’s initial studies, but it was given to many health care workers, some of whom are pregnant.

“We’ve seen nothing concerning about this vaccine in pregnant women, so far, in the patients that have been vaccinated in the health care provider groups already,” Ramsey said.

“The vaccine itself should have very minimal impact on your pregnancy. If anything, it’s going to give you and your baby protective antibodies. So when the baby is born, it’s going to have some protection against COVID-19.”

Ramsey says the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain the live virus. He said the messenger RNA used in the vaccine only stays in the body long enough to teach cells how to react to COVID-19.

“It should be safe. We have no reason to believe it would be not safe for pregnant women to take the vaccine, so having a discussion with the provider or obstetrician to weigh the risks and benefits on the specific situation,” Ramsey said.

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To provide fact- and science-based information about the vaccines, we’ve reached out to experts at the forefront of stopping the spread of COVID-19 to inform our hourlong special that airs on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. on KSAT 12, KSAT-TV and KSAT.com. For more information, click here.


About the Author:

Adrian Ortega is a news producer for the Nightbeat.