With COVID cases on the rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now urging all pregnant women to get vaccinated.

Dr. Rick Miller, chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, said the CDC has determined “the outcomes for patients who receive the vaccine during pregnancy had exactly the same sort of outcomes as those who did not have the vaccine.”

He said those outcomes “with regard to having the baby, healthy and happy versus miscarriage, versus problems during the course of the pregnancy were no different in the vaccine group compared to the non-vaccine group.”

Miller said another important point to consider is for the baby “it’s better to have the vaccine, because it provides the babies with some antibodies at birth.”

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In other words, “the antibodies from the vaccine cross over the placenta and provide the baby with this passive immunity, so when they’re born it protects against that early neonatal COVID.”

He also noted the CDC has determined the number of pregnant patients who have minor side effects from the vaccines including “pain at the injection site, mild fever, generalized achiness, things like that, are no greater than what it is for someone who is not pregnant.”

Miller said another reason to get vaccinated is women who have COVID in pregnancy do worse than women who are not pregnant and are in the same condition and the same age.

He pointed out the majority of pregnant women have mild or no symptoms if they get the virus “but about 15% require hospitalization.”

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine has reviewed vaccine data in pregnant women “and they haven’t found any indication of any kind of reproductive consequences of the vaccine at all.”

For all of these reasons, Dr. Miller is urging his patients and other pregnant women in the Garden State to get vaccinated for COVID as soon as possible.

“I know that it can be a very severe disease in pregnancy and it can cause severe maternal complications or death,” he said.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement released on Wednesday “the vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible Delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people.".

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