For a third-party reproduction specialist like myself, the sharp rise in surrogacy inquiries in the past year is gratifying. The demand for gestational carriers is so high it can hardly keep up with supply. Most of the intended parents who come to our clinic, however, want a vaccinated carrier — and therein lies the problem: A fair percentage of surrogates don’t want the COVID-19 vaccine.
With the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreading rapidly and showing no signs of slowing down, the human cost of remaining unvaccinated is greater than ever. We’ve seen that the variant is far more easily spread than previous strains, and for those who are unvaccinated and infected with the variant, hospitalization (or worse) is far more likely.
Unfortunately, the news becomes even more dire: Without curbing the current rate of infection, we could soon be looking at a vaccine-resistant strain of COVID. According to Dr. Vaughn Cooper from the American Society for Microbiology, “The more infections, the more chance that mutations will occur.”
Fortunately, the CDC has now released data to support the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people and is recommending that everyone over the age of 12 get vaccinated against COVID-19. In spite of such compelling evidence, it’s clear from speaking daily with surrogates (and hearing the stories from surrogacy agencies) that vaccine hesitation is fueled by misinformation. Whether you’re an intended parent or a surrogate yourself, you should have a few facts:
It’s only natural that anyone looking to carry a pregnancy or planning to become a parent through surrogacy would want to be careful. But we now have evidence to support the safety of the vaccine. Studies are ongoing but thus far there’s no indication, in human or animal studies, that the vaccine can cause pregnancy complications or birth defects.
Acceptance of the vaccine isn’t just about the availability of gestational carriers; it’s about the health of your community and the world around you.