What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy

With pregnancy, there's a lot of unknowns, especially now during the pandemic, and one major question is whether current COVID-19 vaccines are safe for those who are pregnant.

Unfortunately, there is no clear right or wrong answer in this case quite yet, because there haven’t been nearly enough studies on pregnant women and the vaccine.

According to Dr. Cynthia Booth, OB/GYN and Chief Medical Officer for Banner Payson, pregnant women have been shown to be at higher risk of developing a more severe illness due to COVID-19.

"Whether that’s the ICU, being on a ventilator or other assisted respiration, or even death," said Dr. Booth. "And of course, pregnant women can have additional things such as obesity and diabetes and that can increase their risk even further."

Dr. Booth says the World Health Organization officials were initially restrictive of the vaccine for pregnant women, due to the lack of studies. She says there are now some things to consider.

"Some things we can look towards though is the fact that the type of vaccine that it is," said Dr. Booth. "It’s an mRNA vaccine, which is not a live vaccination, and it degrades quickly in the body, so we feel like this type of vaccine is safe in pregnancy."

Dr. Booth says some studies in terms of reproductive health are showing promise.

"Additionally, we are seeing some preliminary data from the dart studies, which is the developmental and reproductive toxicity studies, and there have been no what we call safety signals from those yet, and those are animal studies that help to guide us until we do have those studies in pregnancy," said Dr. Booth.

Pregnant women do fall under the high-risk category, and they will be in group 1C for vaccination.

As always, it’s best to talk with your doctor About any decision regarding getting the vaccination or not.

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COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

COVID-19 resources

CDC Website for COVID-19


https://espanol.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html (In Spanish/En Español)

AZDHS Website for COVID-19


https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/es/covid-19/index.php#novel-coronavirus-home (In Spanish/En Español)