COVID-19 vaccine does not pose increased risk of preterm births: CDC study

The COVID-19 vaccine does not pose an increased risk of preterm births or small-for-gestational age (SGA) births, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found, further supporting the vaccine’s safety among pregnant people. 

The research published Tuesday found there were 4.9 preterm births, occurring before 37 weeks’ gestation, per 100 live births among vaccinated pregnant women. Among unvaccinated pregnant women, preterm births reached seven per 100 live births. 

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated pregnant women saw 8.2 SGA births, in which the baby’s weight is the lowest 10th percentile for gestational age, per 100 live births.

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Among all pregnant women regardless of vaccination status, the study recorded 6.6 preterm births and 8.2 SGA births per 100 live births. 

The study involved more than 46,000 pregnant women, spanning from ages 16 to 49, who had live births at sites in California, Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. 

Almost 22 percent had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose during their pregnancy, with a vast majority of those getting vaccinated in the second or third trimester. Most of these women received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, with all vaccinations occurring between Dec. 15, 2020, and July 22, 2021. 

Officials have expressed concern about lower vaccine uptake among pregnant people in the pandemic. Pregnant women with symptomatic COVID-19 are two times more likely to have to be admitted to the intensive care unit, to undergo invasive ventilation and to die than women who aren’t pregnant.