Researchers and scientists released a new report this week that shows pregnant women being largely underrepresented in vaccine research programs. The guidelines are published on PregnancyEthics.org.
Pregnancy Research Ethics for Vaccines, Epidemics and New Technologies (PREVENT), the group responsible for creating the report, feels that pregnant women are excluded from vaccine research “out of fear.”
“There’s a lot of reticence to include pregnant women in research,” said Carleigh Krubiner, the project director and a co-principal investigator for PREVENT.
They claim that it’s leading to a research environment that lacks vital data for pregnant women. The data is needed to develop more vaccines and vaccine strategies for pregnant women.
“We continue to have this Catch-22 of not having enough evidence to feel like we can do the research. But if we don’t do the research, we don’t have the evidence,” Krubiner said to VOA News.
“There’s a lot of fear,” Krubiner said. “And there are certainly biologically plausible risks associated with different types of live replicating viral vaccines.”
Researchers claim that pregnant women often receive vaccines when they don’t realize they are pregnant. They say this is proof that using pregnant women for vaccine research is safe.
In terms of demographics, pregnant women have long been sought after by pharmaceutical companies. Pregnant women are now receiving flu shots and whooping cough vaccines.