PHOENIX - There’s been many questions about whether it's safe for pregnant women to receive the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. While it's not approved for such use by the FDA thus far, there is a study underway to find out more.
Dr. Steve Plimpton, an OB/GYN in Phoenix, is the principal investigator of this study, which begins in March.
"This will be life-changing for a lot of people right now that have fear," said Dr. Plimpton.
Dr. Plimpton says in order to get the FDA approval, there needs to be clinical trials, which will include 4,000 participants from the United States and around the world.
"We'll give the moms the vaccine, the same one I got, the same Pfizer vaccine to get through the last few months, two doses starting at after 24 weeks in pregnancy to 34 weeks," said Dr. Plimpton.
A portion of participants will get the vaccine, while others will get a placebo injection. Researchers will follow the patients throughout their pregnancy. After the women give birth, the doctor will also test the baby.
"We collect blood from the baby afterwards, so when the baby is delivered, we get umbilical cord blood not directly from the baby to show if the baby has an antibody response to the vaccine as well," said Dr. Plimpton.
Those getting the placebo could get vaccinated a month after giving birth. Dr. Plimpton says those getting the vaccine will be protecting themselves, as well as their unborn child.
"We've lost moms in pregnancy, we've lost babies after birth when they come susceptible to the first breath of life. To be able to change that, which we have no doubt will, we have no reason it won't, when you look at the science of the vaccine. This is life-changing for thousands, if not millions of people," said Dr. Plimpton.
The first doses will be administered in the United States.
Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial on pregnant women