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It’s safe for pregnant people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and federal officials recommend that they do so, the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the CDC, said during a press briefing that the agency made that determination after reviewing data from more than 35,000 pregnant people who’ve been vaccinated.

“Pregnant people experienced the same side effects as others following vaccination,” Walensky said. She said that as part of the broader CDC review, researchers “were also able to follow, in detail, more than 3,900 pregnant women, and over 800 of whom have completed their pregnancies.”

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“Importantly, no safety concerns were observed for people vaccinated in the third trimester, or safety concerns for their babies,” Walensky said.

In light of those findings, Walensky said, the CDC “recommends that pregnant people receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We know that this is a deeply personal decision, and I encourage people to talk to their doctors or primary care providers to determine what is best for them and for their baby.”

Walensky also shared significant milestones for the country on the vaccine distribution front.

“In addition to over 65 percent of Americans over the age of 65 being vaccinated, this is also the week we hit 200 million vaccines in less than 100 days,” Walensky said. “And the week when all Americans aged 16 and older are eligible for vaccination.”

She implored everyone who’s eligible to get the potentially life-saving jab.

“I encourage all younger people to follow the example of older Americans, and to get vaccinated,” Walensky said. “And regardless of your age, please be an ambassador for your neighbors and loved ones by encouraging and assisting them to get vaccinated themselves.”


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.