Expectant mothers say they face a difficult decision as Covid-19 vaccines become available: whether to take one.
Doctors say the answer depends on the woman’s risk of getting Covid-19 and her underlying health issues, but there isn’t enough data yet to make a definitive recommendation. Guidance from health agencies, meanwhile, varies.
“What’s the risk to my child if I get the vaccine? That blank space, that data-free zone of not knowing what the effects would be, is really worrisome,” said Jennifer Lewey, a 40-year-old cardiologist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania who is due March 21.
The dilemma faced by expectant mothers like Dr. Lewey, who decided to skip vaccination for now and rely on masking and other precautions, highlights a gap in vetting Covid-19 vaccines during their rushed development: They weren’t tested in pregnant women.
Pfizer Inc., its partner BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc., the companies behind two Covid-19 vaccines authorized in the U.S., didn’t enroll pregnant women in the late-stage trials evaluating whether the shots work safely.