No, COVID vaccines do not harm the placenta — the organ that provides the fetus with oxygen and food

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Dr. Austin Dennard gets the COVID vaccine. Credit: University of Texas Southwestern
Dr. Austin Dennard gets the COVID vaccine. Credit: University of Texas Southwestern

As the first organ to form during pregnancy, the placenta is critical to the development of a fetus because it provides oxygen to fetal tissues while lungs develop, and nourishment while the digestive tract is forming. In addition, the placenta produces needed hormones and passes on antibodies at the end of pregnancy to protect the baby after birth.

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[Researchers Dr. Emily] Miller and [Dr. Jeffery] Goldstein examined placentas from 84 vaccinated women and 116 unvaccinated women who gave birth at one hospital in Chicago. In addition to looking for abnormalities, the team also searched for evidence of abnormal blood flow, which had been previously reported in pregnant patients who have tested positive for Covid-19.

The authors saw “no increased incidence” of blood flow issues or placental lesions or malformations in the women who had the vaccine versus those who did not.

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“The Internet has amplified a concern that the vaccine might trigger an immunological response that causes the mother to reject the fetus,” Goldstein said in a statement.

“These findings lead us to believe that doesn’t happen,” Goldstein said. “From what we can tell, the COVID vaccine does not damage the placenta.”

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