There are ethical problems with including pregnant women in a Phase 1 or Phase 2 study. For that reason, we have not tested the vaccine on pregnant women. However, the EUA for the Pfizer vaccine DID allow women who are pregnant or breastfeeding to opt to obtain the vaccine. This should be discussed with their primary care or OB/Gyn physician.
If a woman is considering pregnancy, it is recommended that they become fully vaccinated before becoming pregnant if they can.
Preliminary analysis from the Moderna vaccine indicates no effects on reproductive health; please do stay tuned for additional information and please also discuss with your primary care or OB/Gyn physician.
If a woman opts not to obtain the vaccine, they should do all the same things we are already doing — mask wearing, social distancing, washing hands. As a reminder: we know that COVID can be harmful to a pregnant woman and her fetus.
Because a COVID-19 vaccine is not going to be available to the general population for several months, many women may deliver their babies before they are eligible for the vaccine. It is therefore important that those around them also practice all the same precautions we have been doing (mask wearing, social distancing, washing hands); and (especially if the woman opts not to get vaccinated) consider obtaining the vaccine when it is available to them. This is similar to what we do for infants aged 0–6 months who cannot get the flu vaccine. We ask everyone who comes in contact with them make sure they are vaccinated to protect that non-vaccinated person!
The EUA for the Pfizer vaccine allows children 16 years and older to obtain the vaccine.
Only one vaccine (Pfizer) allowed children as young as 12 to get the vaccine — and there were not a lot of them.
This great article with an interview with Dr. Sallie Permar, Chairwoman and Pediatrician-in-Chief at the Weill Cornell Medical School and NYP Pediatrics, explains why studying children is so important — they are not “little adults.” Their immune systems work differently. So we will need to do trials to find out the correct doses for them.
The good news is that we already have great lessons from the existing trials — so these pediatric trials likely don’t have to be as long or as big!
However, we should get these trials done as soon as possible — because we want our children to go back to school as soon as safely possible.
Is it safe to get the vaccine while breastfeeding? Are protective antibodies from the vaccine spread in breast milk?
We do not know the answers to these questions for the COVID vaccine yet. But there is some data we do have that can be helpful.
If I get my COVID19 vaccine while I am pregnant, will protective antibodies cross the placenta during pregnancy?
We currently do not know the answer to this. Please check back as more data becomes available on these vaccines!
This is simply not true! In fact, in the Pfizer trial, 12 women in the vaccine arm became pregnant despite signing a pledge to use 2 forms of birth control or abstinence!