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UBC researchers launch vaccine registry for pregnant, breastfeeding people

Last Updated May 19, 2021 at 5:58 pm PDT

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Pregnant or breastfeeding people getting the COVID vaccine are being asked to join a new registry

Dr. Deborah Money with UBC says there are still big gaps in knowledge about how the shot impacts this group

While we know it is safe based on other research, the research will gather Canada-specific, well-rounded data

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A new vaccine registry has been launched out of UBC, specifically for pregnant and breastfeeding people.

Dr. Deborah Money says there’s a lot we don’t know about the impact of the shot or how it affects immunity since pregnant people were largely excluded from clinical trials.

“Although we believe the vaccines to be safe and effective in pregnancy, there is very limited information,” she says.

“We only have limited registry data from the United States and Europe, o help us understand if they definitely are safe and effective in pregnancy.”

UBC researchers will be asking people from across the country to sign up to get as much diverse data as possible. One goal of the research is to learn more about whether immunity transfers to infants through blood samples from pregnant people, and breast milk.

“We hope to better understand what influences pregnant person’s decision to take or not take a vaccine in pregnancy, or while they’re lactating. And also track enough women who both take and don’t take the vaccine — and the pregnancy outcomes — to determine if there are any particular impacts that we need to understand.”

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Money adds it’s incredibly important to have solid knowledge about the impacts the vaccine has on pregnant people because, based on a sister study, it appears to have a higher risk of serious complications and ICU admission.

“So taking a protective vaccine is particularly important to a pregnant person, but we need to gather much more information.”

While there are similar international studies that can provide insight into the impact of the vaccine, Money says it’s critically important to have data on the vaccine’s impacts on the Canadian population.

If you’d like to participate in the registry and survey, visit the website. Additional information about pregnancy and COVID-19, interim reports from the CANCOVID-Preg study can be found online.