New CDC guidance encourages pregnant women to get vaccinated

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58)-- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is strongly recommending COVID-19 vaccines for expecting mothers. 

New guidance from the CDC urges pregnant women to get vaccinated as the number of COVID-19 infections in this population rises.

"I think the CDC is now falling into line and their guidelines are very appropriate based on the data that we have," Dr. Ellen Hayes said.

Hayes is an OBGYN and reproductive endocrinologist at Vios Fertility Institute in Milwaukee. She agrees the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for mom and baby. 

"It does not cross the placenta. It does not cause antibodies to form to a placenta. It doesn't increase miscarriage risk," Hayes said. 

The CDC's newest study using data from its V-Safe pregnancy registry shows 13% of women reported a miscarriage after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. That falls into the range of miscarriage rates in the general population, which is 11 to 16%.

Hayes said a COVID-19 infection brings higher risk for severe disease during pregnancy. 

"That can include things like requiring hospitalization, being intubated, having to spend time in the intensive care unit, as well as some adverse pregnancy outcomes," Hayes said. 

Studies also show the COVID-19 vaccine doesn't hurt people hoping to become parents soon. 

"It doesn't impact male or female fertility, and it doesn't impact outcome with fertility treatment," Hayes said. 

Hayes added that they're finding COVID-19 infections lower sperm count in some men. 

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