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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

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Nov 17, 2021 - Health

Fauci: Boosters could see COVID reach endemic level in U.S. next year

Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a Senate hearing this month. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci believes the COVID-19 pandemic could become endemic in the U.S. next year, but increased vaccination rates and booster shots would be key to achieving this.

The big picture: The nation's top infectious disease expert made the comments in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday on the sidelines of the STAT Summit. But he noted to CNBC that coronavirus cases need to fall "well below 10,000" a day for the U.S. "to get back to a degree of normality."

Nov 18, 2021 - Health

U.S. to buy 10 million courses of Pfizer's COVID pill

Photo: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer said Thursday that the U.S. will buy 10 million courses of its COVID antiviral pill Paxlovid for $5.29 billion by 2022 if it gains an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

Why it matters: With the purchase, the Biden administration is now set to receive over 13 million courses of antiviral medications designed specifically to treat COVID-19 and reduce severe illness and deaths.