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The COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy

There are still a lot of questions when it comes to vaccinations for pregnant women and nursing mothers, and few answers. Here's what we do know.

SAN ANTONIO — As coronavirus vaccines are distributed across the country, many people are still trying to decide whether the shot is right for them. 

There are still a lot of questions when it comes to vaccinations for pregnant women and nursing mothers, but there are few answers at this time. Here's what we do know.

Pregnant women were excluded from the vaccine studies that were conducted for emergency authorization. 

However, studies looking at how the COVID-19 vaccine will affect women and their babies are underway right now. 

What we do know is that pregnant women are at risk for severe complications from the coronavirus. 

Meagan Garibay, an RN with the Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Oklahoma, had a mild reaction to the first dose of the vaccine, but that didn't prevent her from getting the second dose.

"I've got a much higher chance of suffering, severe consequences, or even death from COVID-19. 

Dr. Laura Rilet, an OB-GYN Chief at New York-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine echoed this, saying that the benefits of the vaccines are likely to outweigh the risks of COVID-19. 

"The biology of the way this vaccine works does not make us think in any way that this vaccine is going to be any less safe or any less efficacious in pregnancy."

According to a Harvard study, pregnant women who tested positive for the virus did not pass it on to their babies. 

The study also found that mothers did not pass along any antibodies, meaning their children could still get sick from the virus, later in life. 

As for nursing mothers, there's no data yet on how the vaccine could affect milk production.

It's best to consult with your doctor before making a decision.