Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech have started an international study which will seek to test the effectiveness of their COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women.
The study will examine 4000 pregnant women, testing both the effectiveness of the vaccine as well as keeping tabs on any side effects that arise.
Medical data suggests that pregnant women have a higher risk of severe COVID infection, as well as higher risk of complications during pregnancy.
Women who are a part of the study will receive 2 injections between week 24 and 34 of the gestation period, which follows the procedure of larger clinical trials. Women who receive the placebo will be offered the real vaccine after they give birth.
Pregnant women were excluded from US clinical trials prior to the roll out, due to emergency use authorizations that allowed the vaccine to be released faster.
The study has already begun in the US, with pregnant women receiving their first dose of the vaccine. Pfizer senior vice president of vaccine clinical research Dr. William Gruber said that results for this study could be available as early as 4th quarter of 2021.