While we have not yet specifically tested COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women, there is no reason to suspect that the COVID-19 vaccines currently being tested would be of risk to the mother or her baby. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) has recommended; “that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination based on ACIP-recommended priority groups”. Additionally; “COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to lactating individuals similar to non-lactating individuals”. COVID-19 vaccine testing in pregnant women is planned and likely will start in the spring of this year.

Are there concerns in the medical community about how polarized the public is about all science especially prevention including vaccines?

We are concerned about the general breakdown in the trust of science and how Public Health measures are being viewed as political issues instead of safety issues. However, we need to keep up the fight and continue to be strong advocates for the health of children, particularly preventive medicine such as vaccines. If we don’t keep up the campaign to educate and inform parents, we will be putting the health of children at risk.

How do you discuss the potential long term risks that can’t be known yet due to the vaccine creation timeline?

All the vaccines are targeting the spike protein. The mRNA vaccines are using mRNA that is degraded soon after it is translated into spike protein. So, there should not be any long term effects of the mRNA. The Astra Zeneca vaccine is using an adenovirus that is replication incompetent, meaning that the virus can’t live and grow in us. The Sanofi and NovaVax vaccines are protein vaccines, very similar to the flu vaccine. The end result is that while the technology is new, there is no evidence to indicate there is long term harm from the vaccine candidates.

What about patients who have tested positive whether symptomatic or not OR have positive antibodies – is there a plan whether they will be able to get the vaccine?

Good question. That still needs to be decided. From small scale studies in adults, the frequency and type of side effects were the same whether or not you had already had COVID.