No risk of early pregnancy loss from COVID-19 vaccination, study finds
TORONTO -- There is no correlation between risk of miscarriages in the first trimester and receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, according to a new study.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed several health registries in Norway to compare the proportion of vaccinated individuals who experienced a miscarriage during the first trimester and those who were still pregnant at the end of the trimester.
"Our study found no evidence of an increased risk for early pregnancy loss after COVID-19 vaccination and adds to the findings from other reports supporting COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy," the authors wrote in an online letter published Wednesday.
The study tracked 13,956 individuals with ongoing pregnancies, of whom 5.5 per cent were vaccinated, as well as 4,521 who experienced miscarriages, of whom 5.1 per cent were vaccinated. In Norway, vaccination during the first trimester is not recommended except in those with underlying risk conditions, but it's possible some were not yet aware that they were pregnant may still have been vaccinated.
Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends that a full vaccine course be offered to pregnant individuals.
According to the study's calculations, adjusting for factors such as age and previously diagnosed medical conditions, individuals who suffered a miscarriage were 9 per cent less likely to have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Results of the study were similar across all vaccine types, whether vaccine recipients had one or two doses.
The study is good news for expectant parents experiencing early pregnancy who are vaccinated or those who are curious about pregnancy post-vaccination. Most miscarriages occur during the first trimester, according to the authors of the study.
"Pregnant women with COVID-19 are at increased risk for adverse outcomes, and COVID-19 vaccination is recommended during pregnancy," they wrote.
The findings are among the latest in a number of studies regarding COVID-19 and pregnancy.
Last week, the New Brunswick Medical Society urged pregnant individuals to get vaccinated as they are four times more likely to be hospitalized from the virus. In Ontario, vaccination numbers are lagging behind among those who are pregnant, despite evidence of increased risk for this group.
A study published earlier this month indicated those who were pregnant and contracted the virus were more likely to need emergency deliveries if they were symptomatic.
Research has also shown COVID-19 infection raises risks of negative outcomes for both pregnant individuals and their newborns.