The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged on Wednesday afternoon both pregnant women and women who have recently been pregnant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
This comes as a major shift to what we have understood to this point, as the CDC said there is mounting evidence that the benefits of the vaccine against the novel Coronavirus far outweigh any known or potential risks to the health of pregnant women and their babies.
CDC Calls On Pregnant Women to Get Vaccine
The CDC issued a statement on its website noting that the current COVID-19 vaccines were recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to become pregnant.
”Although the overall risk of severe illness is low, pregnant and recently pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared with non-pregnant women,” the American organization stated.
The CDC cited studies in animals that received the vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson and Johnson both before and during pregnancy to back up their recommendation. According to these studies, no safety concerns in the pregnant animals or their babies were found.
”COVID-19 vaccines do not cause infection, including in pregnant women or their babies: None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 so a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make anyone sick with COVID-19, including pregnant women or their babies.” the CDC stated.
It added that ”Early data on the safety of receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) during pregnancy are reassuring.”
The CDC also mentioned that it will continue to follow people who have been vaccinated during all trimesters of pregnancy to better understand effects on pregnancy and babies.
However, the CDC encourages pregnant women to consult with their doctors before they take any decision but they don’t consider this to be a necessary requirement.
”If you are pregnant, you might want to have a conversation with your healthcare provider about COVID-19 vaccination. While such a conversation might be helpful, it is not required before vaccination. You can receive a COVID-19 vaccine without any additional documentation from your healthcare provider,” the CDC statement from Wednesday reads.
US Turns to Social Media Influencers to Persuade the Unvaccinated
The US, where more than 70% of citizens have had at least one vaccination against the coronavirus, is still at risk as the Delta variant of the virus makes its way across the nation – leading the authorities to turn to social media to help stem the tide.
A police sergeant in a rural town, Carlos Cornejo, has quite a following on Twitter and other social media, counting 650,000 followers on his Spanish-language account alone. That made him the target for Colorado officials, who saw him as a great source for the community-based gentle persuasion that they had in mind.
And Cornejo, who is 32, is only one of a small army of social media users and influencers who are taking part in this “soft power” campaign, meant to push those who still have hesitations regarding the vaccines to make the decision to protect themselves.
A wide range of people, including religious leaders, busy moms, fashionistas and other bloggers are being used to spread the word about the importance of becoming vaccinated while the Delta variant continues to spread around the globe.
The state of Colorado is using the hashtag #PowertheComeback as a way to encourage Latino, Black, Native American, Asian and other minorities that tend to be slightly more hesitant to receiving the vaccines.