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MFM Faculty Offer Expertise on Including Pregnant Women In Vaccine Trials

Thursday, February 18, 2021
Dr. Geeta Swamy, Dr. Brenna Hughes

Duke Ob/Gyn Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists Geeta Swamy, MD, and Brenna Hughes, MD, MSc, have been featured in The Scientist and on NBC.com in interviews about including pregnant women in clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccines. 

Dr. Swamy was quoted in "COVID-19 Vaccines for Pregnant Moms May Protect Newborns," noting that she agrees that pregnant women should have been included in clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines. “The problem now is that we’re going to be faced with the potential difficulties in enrolling women in studies when they could be getting the vaccine already,” she stated in The Scientist article. "That’s because pregnant women can receive the vaccines that have emergency use authorization if they fall into the eligible groups, while in a placebo-controlled study, participants typically have a 50 percent chance of receiving the placebo."

Dr. Hughes was featured in "Pfizer to begin Covid vaccine clinical trial in pregnant women" stating, "Any data to help reassure pregnant patients that the vaccine is safe for them is desperately needed." 

On February 18, 2021, Pfizer announced that it would begin its clinical trial and aims to enroll 4,000 expectant mothers.