CDC study finds no link between COVID-19 vaccines and preterm birth

NEW HAVEN, Conn. ( – Although pregnant women are at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease, many are still reluctant to get the coronavirus vaccine. A new study may calm some fears and find that vaccinations do not lead to a higher risk of premature birth.

As of September 2021, only one in three pregnant women (31%) in the United States has received at least one vaccine dose. Common concerns regarding vaccination focus on the safety of the vaccine and possibly long-term consequences for the child.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigated this concern and looked at the potential risks of getting the COVID-19 vaccine on a woman’s pregnancy. Premature birth – or births that occur earlier than 37 weeks – and a condition called small for gestational age both increase the risk of death and long-term disability for infants. However, the new results confirm that COVID vaccines do not increase the risk of any of the problems occurring.

Researchers collected data from eight organizations in the Vaccine Safety Datalink project, which examined the link between preterm birth among vaccinated and unvaccinated pregnant women aged 16 to 49 years.

The study also tracked the pregnancies of 10,064 people who had at least one Vaccine against covid-19 dose during pregnancy. Almost the entire group (98.3%) received their vaccination during their second or third trimester. About 1.7 percent received a COVID shot during their first trimester.

Approximately 96 percent of pregnant women received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, which includes Pfizer and Moderna injections.

Vaccinations at any time of a pregnancy do not increase premature births

Results show that regardless of which trimester pregnant women receive their COVID-19 vaccines or how many doses they have, there was no difference in the number of premature births between vaccinated and unvaccinated women.

For every 100 births, there were about 6.6 premature births in vaccinated women. In contrast, there were 8.2 premature births in unvaccinated women.

“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is important to prevent serious illness in pregnant women,” said Heather Lipkind, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science at the Yale School of Medicine, in a university publication. “With the increasing number of COVID-19s in our community, we encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated.”

Researchers published their findings in the CDC’s journal Weekly report on morbidity and mortality.

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