Large U.S. study on how pregnant women tolerate the COVID-19 vaccine

Aug. 23, 2021

A survey of more than 17,000 pregnant and lactating individuals who received the COVID-19 vaccine showed that the individuals did not experience symptoms any more severe than their non-pregnant counterparts, according to a news release from the University of Washington.

The UW Medicine study was published in JAMA Network Open.

The findings come a week after the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) formally recommended that all pregnant women get vaccinated against the virus. The CDC reported that only 23% of U.S. pregnant women were vaccinated as of the end of July. The percentage is even lower among Black and Latina women.

In January 2021, Kachikis set up an online cohort study of women: those who were pregnant or lactating and those who were neither pregnant nor lactating. The women were invited to describe their reactions after receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. By March, 17,525 individuals had responded.

The respondents comprised women who were pregnant (44%) or lactating (38%) and those who stated plans to get pregnant in the near future (15%).

The majority (62%) received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and most of the participants resided in the United States. Respondents reported pain at the injection site (91%) and fatigue (31%), and a mean temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit after the shot. A small group (5-7%) reported a decrease in milk supply post-vaccination.

There are currently 20,000 women enrolled in the study and new respondents continue to post their experiences.

Visit UW for more news