WEDNESDAY, Aug. 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 vaccines are well tolerated among individuals who are pregnant, lactating, or planning pregnancy, according to a research letter published online Aug. 17 in JAMA Network Open.

Alisa Kachikis, M.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues surveyed women who were pregnant (7,809 participants), lactating (6,815 participants), or planning pregnancy (2,901 participants) at the time of COVID-19 vaccination regarding demographics (including race and ethnicity), pregnancy, vaccination perception, and outcome data, including report of day 1 vaccine reactions.

The researchers found that 97.0 percent of respondents reported any postvaccination reactions after the first dose, with the most common reactions being pain at the injection site (91.4 percent) and fatigue (31.3 percent). After the second dose, the frequency of reactions was higher than after the first dose (69.2 percent with fatigue after the second dose), but with similar distribution of symptoms. Among respondents who were pregnant, odds of several reactions were significantly decreased (e.g., fever after Pfizer-BioNTech dose 2: odds ratio, 0.44; after Moderna dose 2: odds ratio, 0.48) versus individuals who were neither pregnant nor lactating. Any obstetrical symptoms were reported by 4.4 percent of pregnant women after the first dose and 7.5 percent after the second dose.

“Study limitations include that participants were drawn from a convenience sample with self-reported reactions and with limited perinatal outcome assessment, reflecting the first wave of vaccination, which largely consisted of health care workers owing to vaccine eligibility at the time,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer.

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