ANGOLA —If you're pregnant or nursing, yes, you can get a COVID-19 vaccination.

One of the questions that has surrounded the vaccines under emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration is about fertility and if the vaccine can cause infertility in vaccine recipients.

And the answer is no, so say the American College of OB/GYN, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control.

In agreement with each of these societies is Dr. Todd Rumsey of Cameron OB/GYN, Angola.

“If the vaccine is offered, you should receive it,” Rumsey said. “There have been zero ties to infertility and the vaccine.”

The Cameron Memorial Community Hospital website has an announcement about the vaccines, penned by Rumsey, that discusses future fertility and safety in pregnant women. It advises pregnant and lactating women to get the vaccine, but it is recommended they first speak with their health care provider.

Any of the authorized vaccines for COVID-19 can be offered to those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Women who are pregnant and receive the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines in the United States are able to enroll in the V-SAFE pregnancy registry, established by the CDC, to report information about their pregnancy while immunized for COVID-19.

V-SAFE is a smartphone-based tool using text messages and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after vaccination. The pregnancy registry is for those in V-SAFE who self-identify as pregnant at the time of their vaccination or within 30 days of receiving the vaccine.

Not everyone who identifies as pregnant will be contacted for additional information. The American Academy of Pediatrics says those that are contacted through V-SAFE's pregnancy registry will be contacted once per trimester, after delivery of the baby and when the baby is three months old. 

Information gathered will be used to evaluate and educate the public about how vaccination might affect pregnancy. It may also guide the CDC and the FDA to guide recommendations on vaccination and pregnancy.

Health effects being looked at from registry data include pregnancy outcomes such as miscarriage and stillbirth, complications such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes and any problems with the newborn such a pre-term delivery, poor growth or birth defects.

The Academy of Pediatrics says so far, data is showing no major safety concerns have been reported in pregnant women after receiving the vaccine. 

"I think it's important everyone take advantage of it," Rumsey said of the vaccines available.

According to the CDC, breastfeeding is rarely a concern with vaccines. Each of the three authorized COVID-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to an infant being breastfed. 

Pregnant women have been receiving vaccines during pregnancies for years, Rumsey said, and this is no different.

"We're seeing babies born now with antibodies from moms who had the vaccine," he said. "I think if all three societies say don't avoid it, people should get it."

On April 13, the U.S. recommended that states pause giving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while six reports of unusual blood clots are investigated.

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