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New pregnancy test for COVID-19 vaccine

One of the largest reports of COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy confirms that it is safe, although the authors say that more comprehensive research is needed.

Preliminary results are based on reports from more than 35,000 U.S. women who received either Moderna or Pfizer shots during pregnancy. Their rates of miscarriages, premature births, and other complications were comparable to those reported in pre-epidemic pregnancy reports.

New evidence from researchers at the Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention was published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

None of the women involved received the one-time Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which became available after the study և is now in limbo as US authorities investigate reports of a handful of women’s blood tissue.

Separately, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine on Tuesday approved a pregnancy vaccine based on evidence estimated to be more than a year old.

“Everyone, including pregnant women who want to get pregnant, should get the COVID-19 vaccine. “Vaccines are safe and effective,” the statement said.

More about the COVID-19 epidemic

A spokesman for the public said the group had not evaluated the latest evidence on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

A spokesman for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said the CDC report was promising but needed in the long run. The group has previously said that the COVID-19 vaccine should be available to pregnant women, those who are breastfeeding, and many pregnant women in the United States have preferred the vaccine.

Although pregnant women were excluded from studies leading to emergency vaccination authorization, evidence showed that enrollment did not harm women who were unknowingly pregnant.

Dr. Laura Riley, chair of Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, said the new results were encouraging.

“It is great to have data to share with our patients who continue to weigh the risks and benefits of vaccines,” he said. “They know the possible complications of COVID infection during pregnancy, and now there is some safety data in human pregnancies.”

Pregnant women who become infected with the coronavirus experience increased complications, including resuscitation hospitalization, premature birth, and death.

The study, led by CDC doctor Tom Shimabukuro, said the monitoring needed to be continued and more evidence needed, including in women who were vaccinated with COVID-19 in early pregnancy.

Their study included information on 35,691 pregnant women in the United States who participated in a voluntary smartphone-based vaccine control system and received Moderna or Pfizer vaccines from mid-December 2020 to late February.

It also included reports of pregnancy complications for nearly 4,000 women on the U.S. Vaccine Safety Register. 86% or 712 of them resulted in live births, mainly among women vaccinated in the third trimester.

Most women in the monitoring group reported pain at the injection site, but there were fewer serious reactions. Pregnant women were more likely to have pain at the injection site with both vaccines, but were less likely to have other reactions than non-pregnant women.

About 13% of pregnant women in the vaccine registry reported miscarriages, less than 1% stillbirths, 9% premature births և 2% defects. These rates are all within the same range as those seen in pre-epidemic reports among pregnant women.

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Follow AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner at @ LindseyTanner.

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The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Department of Science Education at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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