Encourage Pregnant Patients to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19, ACOG Says

"The spread of misinformation and mistrust in doctors and science is contributing to staggeringly low vaccination rates among pregnant people," said the American Colleges of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is urging its members to help fight the spread of medical misinformation—especially when it comes to COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy, according to a recently published guidance from ACOG.1

“The spread of misinformation and mistrust in doctors and science is contributing to staggeringly low vaccination rates among pregnant people,” ACOG writes.

The organization states members are reporting that they are “extending themselves in time-consuming and often creative ways to convert one unvaccinated pregnant person at a time.”

To help fight medical misinformation, as well as encourage vaccination against COVID-19, ACOG is asking its members to sign an open letter endorsing COVID-19 vaccination. The organization plans to share this letter with patients, policymakers, and the media to display the robust consensus among obstetrician—gynecologists. They are also urging physicians to continue to advise patients, including those who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or lactating, to receive the vaccine.

Both ACOG and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine recommend that pregnant people receive the COVID-19 vaccine since pregnancy is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 complications, according to a July 30 release.2 They also stated that the vaccine has no impact on fertility. 

“As experts in reproductive health, we continue to recommend that the vaccine be available to pregnant individuals,” ACOG states in a February 4 press release.3 “We also assure patients that there is no evidence that the vaccine can lead to loss of fertility. While fertility was not specifically studied in the clinical trials of the vaccine, no loss of fertility has been reported among trial participants or among the millions who have received the vaccines since their authorization, and no signs of infertility appeared in animal studies. Loss of fertility is scientifically unlikely.”

When it comes to spreading misinformation about the vaccine, the Federation of State Medical Boards, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and other organizations have released statements about the significance of medical and professional ethics, as well as the dangers of spreading vaccine misinformation. If physicians are found promoting false vaccine information, they are at risk disciplinary action, possibly including the loss of their medical licenses.

For obstetrician—gynecologists partaking in the spread of vaccine misinformation that violates the ACOG Code of Professional Ethics, physicians are subject to disciplinary action by the College, ACOG states.

More information and resources on how to stop the spread of vaccine misinformation can be found at ACOG’s Stop the Spread Campaign.

References:

  1. Covid-19 vaccination, pregnancy, and medical misinformation: how you can help. Accessed October 12, 2021. https://www.acog.org/en/news/news-articles/2021/10/covid-19-vaccination-pregnancy-medical-misinformation-how-you-can-help
  2. ACOG and SMFM recommend covid-19 vaccination for pregnant individuals. Accessed October 12, 2021. https://www.acog.org/en/news/news-releases/2021/07/acog-smfm-recommend-covid-19-vaccination-for-pregnant-individuals
  3. Medical experts continue to assert that covid vaccines do not impact fertility. Accessed October 12, 2021. https://www.acog.org/en/news/news-releases/2021/02/medical-experts-assert-covid-vaccines-do-not-impact-fertility