Since the onset of the COVID vaccine rollout, questions surrounding its impact on pregnant recipients have been on many minds. New data published in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal shows that the placentas of those who were vaccinated while pregnant were not affected by the vaccine.

Misinformation and false claims about the vaccine have been spreading on social media since the onset of the pandemic. Some of these claims have cast doubt in many women and pregnant people, as they inaccurately state that the vaccine can affect fertility and the health of the fetus.

This new data is valuable in the growing evidence that the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are safe to receive during pregnancy.

The study published this week is the first to examine the impact of Covid-19 vaccines on the placenta, according to the authors. The placenta is the first organ to form during pregnancy, and it is critical to fetal development because it provides oxygen and nutrition to the developing baby. Post-birth, the placenta produces necessary hormones and antibodies to protect the baby even after it leaves the womb.

"The placenta is like the black box in an airplane. If something goes wrong with a pregnancy, we usually see changes in the placenta that can help us figure out what happened," said study co-author Dr. Jeffery Goldstein, assistant professor of pathology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in a statement.

The study examined placentas from 84 vaccinated women and 116 unvaccinated women who gave birth at one hospital in Chicago. In addition to looking for placental abnormalities, researchers also looked for evidence of abnormal blood flow, which had been previously reported in pregnant patients who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Co-author Dr. Emily Miller, a Northwestern Medicine maternal-fetal medicine physician, said that the study results were reassuring for all birthing people.

"We don't see any signals that suggest the placenta is getting injured from the vaccine," Miller said. "This builds upon rapidly emerging data that emphasizes that the vaccine is not dangerous during pregnancy."

Because pregnant and lactating parents weren't included in the initial COVID-19 vaccine trials, reliable data regarding the vaccine and pregnancy was limited. Now that we have significant research to show that the vaccine is safe for people who are pregnant (and has been endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the World Health Organization), hopefully, more pregnant people will line up for the COVID-19 vaccine with a sense of reassurance.