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FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2018 file photo, a doctor performs an ultrasound scan on a pregnant woman at a hospital in Chicago.  (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford, File)
 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Doctors at UofL Health said there isn't a specific biological reason to think the new COVID-19 vaccine would impact pregnant women differently than others.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women were not included in clinical trials for Pfizer or Moderna's vaccines, but that's standard. Typically, pregnant women are considered to be higher risk and are not included in medical studies.

"These vaccines, theoretically, should have a very low to no risk on genetic problems for developing a fetus, and they also do not incorporate into the adult DNA," said Dr. Edward Miller with UofL Health. "So there should be no longer-term genetic consequences of these vaccines." 

The doctors said they're still learning about the effects of COVID-19 on a developing child. They said it doesn't appear there's a huge risk of an expectant mother giving the virus to her baby, but there is a risk of pre-term delivery when a pregnant woman has the coronavirus. 

Doctors also said the risk of serious complications from COVID-19 itself does appear to be higher in pregnant women. 

"Pregnant patients have a higher chance of what we consider severe COVID, so needing admission to the hospital, needing admission to the ICU, potentially needing intubation and that there's a little bit increased risk for death from the coronavirus during pregnancy," said Dr. Sara Petruska with UofL Health.

Each individual case is different, and pregnant women should talk with their doctors before getting vaccinated. 

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