FDA Presents Pregnant and Breastfeeding Ladies Alternatives to Take part in Vaccine Trials – CBS Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s emergency coronavirus vaccine on Friday, they also unexpectedly left the door open for pregnant and breastfeeding women to receive the vaccine.
The decision is made despite less available data on the vaccine in pregnant and breastfeeding women.
So far neither have been included in clinical trials, but Dr. Richard Beigi, obstetrician and president of UPMC Magee-Women’s Hospital, says the data available are encouraging.
“The data is limited, but there really isn’t any solid reason to believe it should be harmful,” he said. “It’s not a live vaccine.”
Beigi says pregnant and breastfeeding women are typically excluded from vaccine research, making it difficult for them to get a vaccine during a public health crisis because health care officials are reluctant to recommend it.
He is pleased that the FDA is giving these women a choice this time around.
“I think these women should be able to make these informed decisions,” he said. “This is the right way.”
CDC data shows that pregnant women are more likely to get negative results from COVID-19.
Some health experts like Beigi say the FDA’s decision now allows women to work with their doctors to compare the risks of the vaccine against the risks of the virus.
“It was a nice decision that offsets those risks and then allows women to choose whether to take the vaccine,” he said.
According to the CDC, over 330,000 health care women are either pregnant or postpartum, which means they will be among the first to be affected by the FDA’s decision.
According to Beigi, clinical trials with Pfizer’s vaccine and other coronavirus vaccines are planned in the work on pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Any woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding and interested in the vaccine should consult her doctor.