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New moms weigh safety risk of COVID-19 vaccines with limited data available

According to MUSC, neither of the two available coronavirus vaccines included pregnant or breastfeeding women, but human studies are ongoing.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Caitlyn Jones’ daughter Ayla still has that new baby smell.

“She does and she likes to snuggle with Mommy,” Jones said.

Pregnancy during a pandemic was not what she was expecting.

“I had her at the end of March…and the Columbia-area was on lockdown at that time, so that was, you know, you already have nerves having a new baby and this is my first,” Jones said.

To keep her safe, she, her husband and mom have stayed separate from other friends and family, but the news of two new coronavirus vaccines now offer an opportunity to reconnect.

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Credit: Caitlyn Jones
Caitlyn Jones and family.

“I definitely want to speak with her pediatrician on it,” Jones said. “She’s almost nine months, so she’s got her nine-month appointment coming up.”

According to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), neither Pfizer nor Moderna vaccine trials included pregnant or breastfeeding women, but human studies are ongoing.

Leaders with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who authorized both vaccines, spoke further on the topic in a Friday press conference.

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“I think either of these vaccines at this point has equally little information on safety in pregnancy,” Dr. Peter Marks, Director of FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said. “On the other hand, I think we also understand that there were pregnant women that were treated with these, there are people now that are entering…registries. So, I think this is, where we would leave it is either one of these vaccines is a reasonable choice after a woman has a conversation with her healthcare provider.”

Jones, who is breastfeeding, won’t be among the first to receive it, but she’s feeling positively.

“I’m hopeful for it, and just knowing that by the time it’s available for me, they’ll be even more information and studies done, so I look forward to reading over those as well,” Jones said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published additional vaccine considerations for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding which can be found on its website.

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