Should Pregnant Women Get the Vaccine? 'I Think So,' Says Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb

By Susan Jones | July 19, 2021 | 10:24am EDT
(Photo by NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP via Getty Images)

( - "Vaccine hesitancy is driven by different things for different people," former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb -- now on the board of Pfizer -- told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday.

And his response to a question about pregnant women getting the vaccine is unlikely to quell doubts.

"If you're pregnant, should you get the vaccine?" host Mika Brzezinski asked Gottlieb:

"I think so," he responded. "And people should talk to their obstetrician about that, obviously, have a conversation. But the most riskiest thing to do in pregnancy right now would be to get COVID while you're pregnant," Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking 133,000 women who were vaccinated during pregnancy, so the data is still emerging on that issue.

Gottlieb also appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation," where he was asked about "the biggest sources of misinformation" regarding COVID vaccines:

“Probably the most pervasive is that somehow the vaccine itself is going to have an impact on fertility. I think that that is discouraging a lot of young women from getting vaccinated. I think quite the opposite is true,” Gottlieb said:

What we've seen is COVID infection during pregnancy can be very dangerous. I think every woman who is an expectant mom or a prospective mom should be talking to their doctor about getting vaccinated.

The CDC has now started a registry called V-safe. You can go on and look at it right now, where they have 133,000 women who have registered for this registry vaccinated while they were pregnant. And so they are prospectively collecting data on the safety of the vaccine in pregnancy, and it looks very encouraging.

Pfizer, the company I'm on the board of, is also doing a study of the vaccine in pregnancy. So I think this is the single biggest piece of misinformation out there that discourages use of the vaccine.

The other one is this that this is somehow a DNA vaccine that's going to integrate into your genome. That's not the case.

According to the CDC website: "If you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems. However, data are limited about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people who are pregnant. CDC established the v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry to learn more about this issue.

"The registry is collecting health information from people who received COVID-19 vaccination in the periconception period (within 30 days before last menstrual period) or during pregnancy. The information is critical to helping people and their healthcare providers make informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccination."

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