Public/Global Health

EU drug regulator says mRNA vaccines safe for expectant mothers, babies

The European Union’s drug regulator said on Tuesday that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines do not cause pregnancy complications for expectant mothers and their babies. 

The European Medicines Agency said it analyzed around 65,000 pregnancies at different stages and did not find any sign of an increased risk of pregnancy complications, miscarriages, preterm births or adverse effects in the unborn babies following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.

“The benefits of receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy outweigh any possible risks for expectant mothers and unborn babies,” it added.

One important finding highlighted by the agency said that the studies also showed that COVID-19 vaccines are as effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and deaths in pregnant people as they are in non-pregnant people.

It further urged pregnant people to get vaccinated against the virus as pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of severe COVID-19.

The studies also found that pregnant people experienced the same common side effects — pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, redness and swelling — from the vaccines as in the vaccinated population.

Vaccine hesitancy in pregnant people has been an issue that spans countries and continents. The U.K’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists estimated that just over 10 percent of pregnant women in England had been fully vaccinated by the end of August last year, according to The Economist.

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

Despite the risks associated between pregnancy and severe COVID-19, just of 40 percent of pregnant people between 18-49 are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data from Jan. 8. 

Public/Global Health