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The COVID Vaccine and Surrogate Pregnancy: frequently asked questions.

The COVID Vaccine and Surrogate Pregnancy: frequently asked questions.

We receive a lot of questions about surrogacy program during the pandemic of COVID-19, and how the vaccine might affect pregnant women.

We prepared all information you need to know about surrogacy during COVID, and whether or not you should get the COVID vaccine as a surrogate or if you’re planning on pregnancy.

Traveling during pandemic for medical screening and/or embryo transfer.

What precautions should be taken to avoid risks of getting sick or brining COVID to my family?

What COVID protocols do clinics have at the moment?

Any type of travel outside of where you reside can be risky. Before you even reach the fertility clinic, it’s important that you follow all requirements for pandemic and protecting yourself against COVID-19, including social distancing, wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer and washing hands frequently. You should never travel if you are not feeling well, or if you feel you’ve been exposed.

In ADONIS we have best COVID safety protocols for patients and staff. 

These include proper spacing in all clinical rooms, a necessary face mask protocol, increased deep cleaning for the facility, expanded in-clinic hand hygiene options, daily symptom and temperature checks for staff, COVID testing when indicated for staff. 

What happens if I test positive for COVID during my pregnancy? Can I pass it to the baby?

If you have positive test  for COVID, you should monitor your symptoms and self-quarantine in the same way you would if you were not pregnant. Although more research is needed, a recent study published in JAMA Network Open discovered that pregnant mothers who test positive for COVID-19 do not transmit the virus to their unborn child. The coronavirus was observed in 64 of the 127 pregnant women in their third trimester who took part in the study. There was no proof of COVID transmission to the newborns among those mothers, according to the investigation. 

Some newborns have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus shortly after birth in small scale studies. It’s unknown if these infants contracted the virus from close contact with their mother before, during, or after birth. The majority of newborns who tested positive showed only minor to no signs of illness.

Is being pregnant considered a “high risk” situation, and if so, does that put me ahead of the line for the COVID vaccine?

If a pregnant woman is contaminated with Covid-19, she is at a higher risk of complications. Despite this, being pregnant does not put you in a higher priority group for vaccines. 

Q: Is the COVID vaccine safe for pregnancy?

Given the mechanics and physiology of the vaccine, there should theoretically not be any negative effects on the fetus or pregnancy, any more than for non-pregnant patients.  In addition, the vaccine may confer passive immunity to the newborn although the duration is unknown. Of course, the decision to take the vaccine will remain a personal one. The 2 FDA-approved vaccines in the U.S. have yet to report specific data as it relates to pregnancy. There were many patients in both trials who took the vaccine and later became pregnant.  

The World Health Organization’s Director of Immunization, Kate O’Brien, recently stated that “Clinical trials of the vaccine are needed on pregnant women. However, there is no reason to think there could be a problem in pregnancy, we are just acknowledging the data is not there at the moment.”

If I’m going to get pregnant for surrogacy, should I get the COVID vaccine?

Based upon the guidance of several professional medical societies, patients planning to conceive, currently pregnant, or breastfeeding, should consider receiving the vaccine, because the health risks of contracting COVID significantly outweigh the risks of vaccination.

There is no requirement to wait a certain amount of time between vaccination and IVF or embryo transfer. The only recommendation is that the vaccine should not be used during the active process of ovarian stimulation or embryo transfer because it can induce an allergic reaction and fever, which can damage the eggs in the cycle or the embryo transferred.

Will I get the vaccine if I’ve already begun IVF treatment or do I have to wait?

If you’re in the middle of an IVF cycle, you don’t need to wait to get vaccinated. The Covid vaccine should not be withheld from patients that are preparing to conceive, who are pregnant, or who are breastfeeding,  and patients undergoing IVF. 

Patients seeking fertility treatments are encouraged to get the vaccine if they meet the existing eligibility requirements, which vary depending on area and vaccine availability. Each patient should have a thorough consultation with their healthcare provider and fertility team before making a vaccine decision.

Is it safe to begin a surrogacy process  now during COVID?

It is safe to begin the surrogacy process, as it takes several months from selection to screening to IVF care, pregnancy, and finally live birth. The safety and well-being of all persons involved, however, is a major concern. Pregnancy could be a risk factor for serious Covid-19 disease, according to recent research, which may have consequences for both the surrogate carrier and the fetus’ health. To reduce risk, all parties undergoing fertility treatments, including intended parents undergoing IVF and surrogates dependent on vaccine availability, should strongly consider the  vaccine.

To ensure the safest and healthiest outcome for expected parents, newborns, and surrogates, both parties should make an official decision after being well aware of the latest information available.

It is perfectly safe to begin the surrogacy process if you follow normal hand hygiene, maintain social distance, and wear masks. 

Contact us if you want to learn more about how to become a surrogate and how to apply to be a surrogate during COVID-19.

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