Dear BDRP members,
In 2019, before even a whisper began of the coronavirus pandemic, members of the BDRP Public Affairs Committee began to draft a position statement for the Society on the health impacts of vaccinations before and during pregnancy. This developed into a joint position statement with our sister society, OTIS, that summarizes the important role vaccinations can play towards improving public health, particularly among women and children. The statement is now published and freely available in our journal Birth Defects Research and will soon be posted on our website.
We encourage all of our members to read this position statement and share it with their professional colleagues. The position statement provides information on why some vaccines are recommended during pregnancy while others are not. It also illuminates the impact of vaccination programs for birth defects prevention and improved public health, and outlines the role of effective communication to allay vaccine safety concerns. Many thanks to the co-authors of the statement, Sonja Rasmussen, Elizabeth Conover, and Vijaya Kancherla.
As we continue as a Society to advocate for birth defects research and prevention, which may include discussions in the future about vaccines yet to be developed for agents such as Zika and COVID-19, this position statement can serve as a useful, evidence-based resource for formation of health decisions and public policy.
Marcia Feldkamp Linda Roberts
Chair, Public Affairs Committee Chair, Communications Coordination Committee