The following is a joint statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists | American Academy of Family Physicians | American College of Nurse-Midwives | American Society for Reproductive Medicine | Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses | National Hispanic Medical Association | National Medical Association | National Rural Health Association | Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health | Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
“As the leading organizations representing experts in maternal care, we continue to strongly urge all eligible individuals—especially those who are considering pregnancy, pregnant, recently pregnant, and lactating—to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Pregnant individuals are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection, ICU admission, and death, as well as adverse pregnancy outcomes. If an individual is pregnant, the best way to protect themselves and their pregnancy against the potential harm from COVID-19 infection is to be vaccinated.
“Data from thousands of individuals show that COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective when administered during pregnancy. The same data are equally reassuring when it comes to infants born to vaccinated individuals, and in fact vaccination during pregnancy may extend a protective benefit to newborns after delivery.
“COVID-19 vaccines do not impact fertility. All individuals contemplating pregnancy, whether in the near or distant future, can feel confident in the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines and the fact that they have no impact on fertility. This is especially important to communicate now that one COVID-19 vaccine is approved for children as young as five, and parents are seeking assurance about their children’s reproductive futures.
“Our organizations support vaccine mandates to protect public health and help increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Pregnancy and reproductive potential alone do not qualify an individual for a medical exemption from a vaccine mandate, because there are no known risks associated with vaccination during pregnancy and vaccination during pregnancy is strongly and universally recommended.
“As the pandemic continues, we remain extremely concerned by the low vaccination rates among pregnant individuals. There also remains a critical need for particular attention to address low vaccination rates among communities of color, who are disproportionately impacted by the virus and whose vaccination decisions may be shaped by historical and cultural considerations. We are especially concerned that continued low vaccination rates will further exacerbate the existing Black and Indigenous maternal health crisis, including in rural areas of the country.
Increasing cases in other parts of the world may foreshadow another surge in the U.S., particularly with holidays approaching and travel increasing. Our members play a critical role in helping pregnant individuals and those planning to become pregnant feel confident in choosing vaccination to protect themselves, their infants, their families, and their communities.
“We encourage our members to counsel their patients to get vaccinated with confidence and cultural humility and help ensure patients receive a unified message from their clinicians in support of the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.”