COVID-19 BRIEFING with updated information (11/11/2021)
Updated booster guidelines:
On November 9th, the CDC updated the booster guidelines to include:
People who received a primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series (ie Pfizer or Moderna) and are 18-49 years old with underlying medical conditions, or 18 years and older who work or live in high-risk settings may receive a booster shot at least 6 months after completing the primary series (which may include an additional primary dose in persons with moderate to severe immunocompromise).
People who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and are 18 years and older should receive a booster shot at least 2 months after receiving their primary vaccine dose.
According to the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, pregnancy IS considered to be an underlying medical condition, and we encourage our pregnant patients who are eligible for boosters to receive them.
Please see this page for an updated FAQ on COVID vaccines in pregnancy written by our very own Dr. Watt!
The New England Journal of Medicine published a report on the safety of mRNA COVID vaccines in pregnancy on April 21st, 2021. The study included >35,000 pregnant women and evaluated the risk of pregnancy-related adverse effects after receiving an mRNA COVID vaccine. Overall, the results were reassuring. You can read the full article here. Animal studies on the COVID vaccines have also shown no increase in safety concerns. This CDC page has additional information on safety and efficacy in pregnancy.
We support our pregnant and lactating patients and their choice to receive any of the available COVID vaccines. As of July 30th, 2021, The American College of Ob/Gyn recommends vaccination of all individuals who are pregnant, breastfeeding, actively trying to become pregnant or are contemplating pregnancy.
There are now three vaccines against Covid-19 available in the United States. All three have Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA. All vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy among their respective clinical trial endpoints.
They are not live virus vaccines and cannot cause COVID-19 infection.
The clinical trials on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines met the same high standards as with a typical vaccine approval process; despite the rapid development of the COVID-19 vaccines, safety standards were not relaxed, in fact, additional safety monitoring systems have been used to track and monitor these vaccines.
Safety data on their use in pregnancy do not indicate any safety concerns for mothers or their babies (over 100,000 pregnancies were reported to the CDC’s v-safe program as of April of 2021 with no evidence of any serious safety concerns). For example, outcomes for vaccinated pregnant women and unvaccinated pregnant women were NO DIFFERENT for the following conditions: miscarriage, stillbirth, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, growth restriction, pre-term birth, and birth defects.
Pfizer and Moderna
These are mRNA vaccines. They consist of mRNA encapsulated by a lipid nanoparticle. They use the host cell’s machinery to make the coronavirus spike protein. The spike protein then stimulates the host’s immune cells to make antibodies against COVID-19.
These are not live virus vaccines.
They cannot cause Covid infection.
They do not use an adjuvant to enhance vaccine efficacy.
They do not enter the nucleus of the host cell and cannot change the DNA (the genetic material) of the host cell.
The J&J vaccine is made from recombinant, replication-incompetent human adenovirus type 26 vector which encodes the SARS-CoV2 spike protein.
It is not a live virus vaccine.
It cannot cause Covid infection.
The adenovirus vector cannot replicate after administration.
The vaccine is rapidly cleared from tissues after injection.
It cannot alter the DNA (the genetic material) of the host cell.
It contains no preservatives.
Other adenovirus vector vaccines have been tested in pregnant women, including vaccines against HIV and Ebola, and have been found to be safe.
Whether our patients choose to be vaccinated or not, we strongly encourage everyone to continue with prevention measures such as wearing a mask, physical distancing, and hand washing.
Enlarged axillary lymph nodes are a known side effect of the Covid vaccines. The Society of Breast Imaging recommends that one have screening mammograms performed before the administration of the vaccine or at least 4-6 weeks after the receipt of the last vaccine injection.
We do not have the vaccine available in our office, but will let you know if that does occur.
The following links may be helpful to make an appointment for a vaccine:
In addition, you may reference the following websites for the most up to date information:
Thank you again for your understanding in this unprecedented time. Please know that we care
about each of you and we want to keep everyone safe who comes into the office and protect our staff as well. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call us at