By now, we’re all aware that COVID-19 vaccines are being actively administered to priority groups throughout the United States. While this is hopefully great news to curb the effects of the pandemic, there are a variety of views about vaccination.
If you’re a surrogate, will the COVID-19 vaccine be safe for you and the baby you are or will be carrying? If you are an intended parent, do you want the surrogate you are working with to be vaccinated, or not be vaccinated? What if the relationship between surrogates and intended parents is strained by these uncertainties and differences of view? How will new variations of the coronavirus be impacted by these vaccines? If you want a vaccination, are you eligible and when can you receive it? Should you receive two doses, one dose or a partial dose?
There are no easy answers to the questions surfacing around COVID-19 vaccines, and it’s okay if your opinion differs from someone else’s. Following the steps below, though, may help surrogates and intended parents alike find ways to collaborate effectively in this very important decision-making process.
First, we always encourage honest and respectful dialogue between intended parents and surrogates. Ideally, a conversation will help you to understand each others’ perspectives better and perhaps allow you to come to an agreement. If you need help figuring out how to broach this topic or share your thoughts, reach out to your match manager for guidance.
Keep in mind that this is a medical issue. While there may be unknowns associated with the COVID vaccines, some studies show there may be heightened risks for pregnant women who contract COVID. As a result, it’s very important to talk to your fertility doctor or OB as you gather information about this decision. Hearing your doctor’s best recommendation may be all that you need to feel much more clear and comfortable about the best course of action.
While there is limited data about these vaccines in the context of pregnancy, there are thoughtful statements that are publicly available from some of the leading experts in the field.
Click on the links below to see the most recent statements from the following organizations:
The Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine's statement of December 1, 2020 at https://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn.smfm.org/media/2591/SMFM_Vaccine_Statement_12-1-20_(final).pdf
Here's one great decision aid that brings it all together, brought to you by the experts at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Finally, since vaccinations are being managed by state and local health authorities, there is tremendous variation in both the availability and process to receiving a vaccination. Do your research online and with the medical professionals that are supporting your journey to find out what vaccines are available near you and what steps you would need to take to receive one. If you do decide to move forward with vaccination and meet the eligibility criteria, please follow all instructions diligently, including dosage amounts and timing. And continue to diligently practice safe public health practices, including mask wearing, hand washing, social distancing and all local and CDC guidance.
While vaccinations can be a complex and thorny issue, especially during these unprecedented days of the coronavirus pandemic, we encourage intended parents and surrogates to have open dialogue, seek the best advice of medical professionals, including your doctor, and validate your options. And, contact us at ConceiveAbilities. We are here to support you.
More questions about surrogacy during the COVID-19 pandemic? Read our blog Surrogacy Is Essential, Even In The Time of COVID and listen to the full podcast All Things Conceivable: A Surrogacy Podcast with Nazca Fontes featuring Fertility Specialist and Reproductive Endocrinologist Dr. Marie Werner from RMA New Jersey to hear what she has learned about caring for her surrogacy patients during the global pandemic.
By Lori Jurecko. Lori came to ConceiveAbilities first as a surrogate and has turned her compassion for families and children into a calling, not just a career. As part of the Match Experience team, she builds relationships, provides support and delivers client care with grace and refinement. She is a licensed social worker and trained mediator who also holds a master's degree in Psychology.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.