Maggie Anthony didn’t have much time to deliberate before getting her Covid-19 vaccine. A labor and delivery nurse at Cambridge Hospital in Massachusetts, she suddenly heard from her manager that shots would be available the next day. But with an 8-month-old breastfeeding baby at home, she wasn’t sure whether to accept. Those who are pregnant and lactating haven’t been included in clinical trials for the Covid vaccines, so there’s no data on the vaccines’ safety for these groups.

At first, Anthony thought she would decline. She knew that in the United Kingdom, the National Health Service had said people who are pregnant and breastfeeding shouldn’t be vaccinated. The Food and Drug Administration simply advises, “If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, discuss your options with your healthcare provider.” But Anthony had another factor to consider: She regularly cares for Covid-positive women. “During labor, in the operating room, in their faces — there is no distance,” she said. “So I know that I am definitely exposed.”

Credit: iStock, Goldmund

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