Doctor recommends COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant patients

MADISON, Wis.– The CDC said it’s okay for pregnant women to get vaccinated, but some new moms still feel hesitancy.

News 3 Now asked a high risk pregnancy doctor what those women should know.

“It would be more dangerous to get COVID while pregnant or while having a very small newborn then it would be to get the vaccine based on the data that we’ve seen thus far,” Dr. Michael Beninati said.

Beninati is a maternal fetal medicine specialist at UW Health. He said the CDC is tracking side effects of COVID-19 vaccines through the V Safe app. Of the almost 87,000 pregnant women to register on the app, about 4,500 have logged side effects.

“Based on those data, it doesn’t appear that the vaccine increases the likelihood of miscarriage, or stillbirth, or neonatal death, or pregnancy complications, such as growth restriction or preeclampsia,” Beninati said.

Beninati said it is common for women to get vaccines like Tdap or the flu shot while pregnant, but said they should not get vaccines with a live virus. The COVID-19 vaccines are not made using a live virus.

Even though the CDC and doctors are still learning about COVID vaccines, Beninati said they already know how harmful catching COVID-19 can be for a pregnant woman.

“COVID in pregnancy has been shown to increase the likelihood of severe disease, increase the likelihood of needing to be put on a breathing machine, increase the likelihood of needing to go to the ICU, increase the likelihood of maternal patients dying,” Beninati said. “It also increases the likelihood of pregnancy complications.”