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Study finds no link between vaccines and preterm birth

A health worker administers a dose of Pfizer-BioNtech’s COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine to a pregnant woman at Clalit Health Services in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv in Israel. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP via Getty Images)

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut ( – Although pregnant women have a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease, many are still hesitant to get the coronavirus vaccine. A new study may allay fears, concluding that vaccinations do not increase the risk of preterm delivery.

As of September 2021, only one in three pregnant women (31%) in the United States had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Common concerns regarding immunization focus on vaccine safety and any consequences for the baby.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explored this concern, looking at the potential risks of getting the COVID-19 vaccine on pregnancy of a woman. Premature birth – or deliveries before 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 findings confirm that COVID vaccines do not increase the risk of either of these problems occurring.

Researchers collected data from eight organizations as part of the Vaccine Safety Datalink project, examining the link between preterm births in vaccinated and unvaccinated pregnant women aged 16 to 49.

The study also followed the pregnancies of 10,064 people who had at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose during pregnancy. Almost all of the group (98.3%) received their vaccination during the second or third trimester. About 1.7% received a COVID injection during their first trimester.

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

Vaccinations at any time during pregnancy do not increase preterm births

The results show that regardless of the trimester in which pregnant women receive their COVID-19 vaccines or the number of doses they receive, there was no difference in the rate of preterm births between vaccinated and unvaccinated women.

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

“Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is important in preventing serious illness in pregnant people,” says Heather Lipkind, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the Yale School of Medicine, in a university outing. “With the increasing rates of COVID-19 in our community, we are encouraging pregnant women to get vaccinated. “

Researchers published their findings in the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.