Valley fertility experts weigh in on COVID-19 vaccine

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- First-time mom and registered dietitian Monica Moreno is still breastfeeding, so the decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine wasn't taken lightly.

"Of course, I had questions about safety and efficacy, but I was well assured by my personal OB, my friends who are OBs and my friends who are pediatricians that there really isn't much to be concerned about," Moreno said.

Like many new moms and those expecting, she weighed the risks of getting the vaccine versus catching the coronavirus.

Moreno said, "I don't want this virus anywhere near me, and any kind of immunity I can confer onto myself is a win."

Twenty-four hours after getting her first dose, she says the only side effect she feels is a sore arm.

RELATED: Central California COVID-19 vaccines: How to make an appointment, latest information by county

While the FDA's emergency use authorization of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines was a significant milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn't come without concern.

"It doesn't alter your own DNA, and it is not a live virus. For those reasons, we believe once the antibodies are created, the mRNA gets destroyed," Fertility specialist Dr. Carolina Sueldo of women's specialty and fertility center in Clovis says.

For ethical reasons, the vaccine trials did not recruit pregnant women, so the FDA can't offer guidance on if expectant mothers should get the shot.

But 23 women did get pregnant during the Pfizer study, and 12 of those women had received the vaccine.

Dr. Sueldo says, "there are very small numbers and a very short time frame, so because of that, you definitely want to talk to your healthcare provider. But, today, with the knowledge that we have right now, there's nothing to suggest that the vaccine would be harmful to women trying to get pregnant or who are currently pregnant."

But Dr. Sueldo is recommending those embarking on fertility treatment -- get their vaccine before starting.

She says, "I do ask they complete the course prior to starting treatment more from an emotional and psychological perspective than any medical or scientific issue."

We are still in the early days of the vaccine rollout.

That's why Dr. Sueldo says moms should talk to a health care provider before getting the vaccine to discuss any personal risks you may have.
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