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A health worker administering a coronavirus vaccine in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 5. Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strengthened its recommendation that pregnant or breastfeeding women get vaccinated against the coronavirus, saying data suggest that pregnant people face an increased risk of developing a severe illness from COVID-19.

Why it matters: Scientists found no increased risk for miscarriage among people who received a coronavirus vaccine during pregnancy, the CDC said, adding that the benefits of vaccines outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination, such as a rare allergic reaction.

Driving the news: There is also no evidence that vaccines cause fertility problems in women or men, per the CDC.

  • Studies also found that coronavirus antibodies created after a pregnant person received a vaccine were found in umbilical cord blood, suggesting that vaccinations during pregnancy may produce antibodies that could protect babies against the virus.

The big picture: The World Health Organization and previous studies have also indicated that coronavirus vaccines are safe for pregnant women.

Go deeper: Vaccine boosters could be necessary as soon as September

Go deeper

Sep 20, 2021 - Health

The COVID booster vaccine discussion is far from over

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An FDA advisory panel may have green-lit a third shot of the Pfizer vaccine for a somewhat narrow slice of the population, but the messy process of figuring out who should get another shot of the vaccine — and when — has likely just begun.

Why it matters: Many vaccinated Americans are worried about their level of protection as the pandemic continues to rage. The piecemeal booster decision-making process may be the best way to keep pace with the science, but it's also at risk of becoming extremely confusing.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Biden to get booster shot on camera — Pfizer vaccine safe, effective in children, company says — The booster vaccine discussion is far from over.
  2. Health: Study: Pandemic cut U.S. life expectancy by more than 9 million years — U.S. death toll surpasses 1918 flu fatalities — Chicago has highest case rates in city worker neighborhoods.
  3. Politics: Biden to push vaccine-sharing at UN, but boosters at home — Rep. Tim Ryan tests positive — Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers.
  4. Education: D.C. schools to require teachers, staff to receive vaccine without testing option — More schools using "test-to-stay" strategy to minimize quarantines.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Fauci: Vaccinating the unvaccinated remains the "highest priority"

NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Sunday that while the coronavirus vaccine booster rollout is important, the "highest priority" is to vaccinate the unvaccinated.

Why it matters: Fauci's statements on NBC's "Meet the Press" come days after an FDA advisory panel voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, pouring cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals.