Still, many pregnant patients, reluctant to put any foreign substance in their bodies, want more long-term data and scientific evidence that the vaccines will not have an effect on the development of the fetus, said Dr. Adam Urato, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist in Framingham, Mass., who counsels patients about the vaccine.
“The one question my patients ask me all the time is, ‘Are we absolutely sure that these vaccines won’t affect my baby?’” he said.
Tista Banerjee, 32, who gave birth to twins at the end of June, said she chose not to be vaccinated until after her pregnancy.
“During pregnancy they say that if you don’t have to take external medicines, don’t, and that you should be particular about what you put in your body,” Ms. Banerjee said. The vaccine was still quite new in April when she was considering vaccination, she said, and she was fortunate that she was able to work remotely and avoid unnecessary exposure to the virus.
She was fully vaccinated in July, soon after she gave birth, she said.
Pregnant women, often excluded from medical studies, were not included in the clinical trials of the Covid vaccines, and the World Health Organization has been ambiguous in its guidance about vaccines, both for breastfeeding women, for whom it says there is no safety data, and for pregnant women.
In interim recommendations, issued in June, the global health organization said that it recommends vaccination “when the benefits of vaccination to the pregnant woman outweigh the potential risks.” The examples given were women who are at a high risk of being exposed to Covid, and those with chronic health conditions, like obesity or diabetes, that place them at higher risk for severe illness.
Sabrina Imbler contributed reporting.