At a meeting on [December 10] to review Pfizer’s data for an emergency use authorization, Dr. Doran Fink, the F.D.A.’s deputy director for vaccine development, signaled that the agency was open to the idea.
“We really have no data to speak to risks specific to the pregnant women or the fetus, but also no data that would warrant a contraindication to use in pregnancy at this time,” Dr. Fink said.
Since the 1960s, pregnant women have been urged to receive vaccines against influenza and other diseases. These women are generally cautioned against live vaccines, which contain weakened pathogens. [Pfizer’s vaccine is RNA-based and not live.]
Even so, the benefits of live vaccines outweigh the risks in some situations, said Dr. Denise Jamieson, an obstetrician at Emory University.
In the initial rollout, it will be mostly pregnant health care workers who must weigh the benefits and possible risks. By the time the vaccine is available to pregnant essential workers or to women in the general population, there should be a lot more data available, the experts said.