ST. LOUIS — The Centers for Disease Control gave answered a question on the minds of many expecting mothers: is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
On Friday, the CDC recommended expecting mothers to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, saying there is no evidence that the shot causes safety concerns for pregnant people or their babies.
For Saffiyah Poole, the new recommendation comes at an important time.
"With me being 35 weeks pregnant, I have never had any issues with COVID this year plus," Poole said. "I don't see it a pressing need at this point. Immediately after delivering, I will get the vaccine."
Poole went through a few phases of thought. At first, the public health professional was a hard no. But now she's softened on that stance. She sees both sides of the discussion.
"Had I been earlier on in my pregnancy there would've been gravity there," Poole said. "Let's say I was 12 weeks pregnant and had a long way to go. There would definitely have to be conversations."
Even with the most recent data, she still understands pregnant women's hesitancies. The Poole family wishes there was more data available to make a sure decision. Doctors even say more research is needed.
Dr. Fred Buckhold with SLUCare and SSM Health said the research hasn't determined that it's safe, just that there are no ill effects in any patients.
"Basically doctors didn't see a difference in the non-vaccinated population," Buckhold said. "The patients that got vaccinated still had the same amount of side-effects, the same type of side-affects that many of us have heard about. The shot didn't seem to confer any harm to the baby or pregnancy."
The rates of miscarriage, premature births and other complications were comparable to pre-pandemic levels according to reports. Doctor Buckhold said this is a good conversation to have with your doctor. Poole said these are good talks to have amongst ourselves as we move ahead.
"More research is needed for pregnant moms getting the vaccine," Poole said. "But that's one reason I am happy that I'm starting to get to know moms that have the vaccine so in the future more moms can make informed decisions if they are getting the vaccine or not."
The data was based on 5,000 U.S. women who received either the Moderna or Pfizer shots while pregnant according to the CDC.
Patients who took the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were not a part of this study.