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Covid-19 vaccines in pregnancy: regaining confidence

Highly effective in preventing Covid-19 infection, vaccines have been shown so far to be highly safe in women of reproductive age

It wasn’t an easy start for Covid-19 vaccines in women trying for a pregnancy, or already pregnant. Spread of misinformation in social media early on this year had as a result vaccines being associated with infertility and pregnancy complications.

Claims that antibodies produced following vaccination could affect early pregnancy development in women of reproductive age resulted in women being reluctant to get the vaccine. This, together with the fact that clinical trials of the Covid-19 vaccines did not include pregnant women right from the outset, further increased vaccine hesitancy.

However, subsequent research on antibodies produced either as a result of Covid-19 infection, or as a result of vaccination, failed to show any association with fertility of pregnancy complications. Initial claims that the spike protein of coronavirus was similar to a placenta key protein soon proved groundless.

In addition, safety data continue to accumulate from various sources, including adverse events reporting systems and online live-registries for vaccinated women, where no difference is found in women trying to get pregnant, and similarly no difference in risk of miscarriage, or other pregnancy related complication.

Lately we are starting seeing studies from IVF clinics reporting on pregnancy rates and risk of miscarriage following IVF treatment. No difference is seen so far in vaccinated women compared with women who have not been vaccinated, so it is rather unlikely that Covid-19 vaccines will have any effect on fertility.

With vaccines being highly effective in preventing Covid-19 infection, and given the serious complications of Covid-19 infection in pregnancy, the recommendation for vaccination is strong. All women trying for a pregnancy, or already pregnant are actively encouraged to vaccinate now.

©2021, Nicholas Christoforidis, Fertility Matters
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