Wednesday, September 22, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 29

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on September 9th, 2021, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 22, Issue 28 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 22, Issue 28

Medical study shows pregnant women benefit from COVID-19 vaccine

By Taylor O'Connor

Expectant mothers are encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine after data from the Journal of the American Medical Association Network (JAMA) released a study showing the vaccine’s safety for mothers-to-be and the dangers of the disease. 

The data from thousands of women enrolled in this study showed that those who got COVID-19 were 15 times more likely to die from the disease compared to women who weren’t pregnant, and they were 22 times more likely to deliver prematurely. 

David Fisk, the Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Cottage Health, said this report—along with recommendations from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society—will help doctors dialogue with patients regarding vaccinations. 

“Women who are pregnant don’t do well with COVID-19 and get quite sick along with very high rates of blood clots as a result. The statistics show the vaccination for COVID is effective and protective for women; it’s safer than most vaccines,” he said. 

Vaccines that tend to have the most complications for pregnant women are those that contain the virus that the body is trying to fight. 

Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines leave after teaching the body how to fight COVID-19, minimizing health complications, Fisk said, and the antibodies that develop get carried across the placenta and to the baby. JAMA’s study also found that vaccinated women who are lactating can also give antibodies to their nursing infants through breast milk. 

Cottage Health is working with its internal groups of pediatricians and OB-GYNs to educate patients about the vaccine and its risks, Fisk said. 

“Generally, rates of COVID vaccination within pregnant women are much lower than in the general population. We think there’s a huge opportunity to make pregnancy safer for women at this time, especially in the light of the Delta variant,” he said. 

The variant’s impact on younger people, specifically women of childbearing age, can make it riskier to get pregnant at this time because COVID-19 causes a reduction in the amount of oxygen the baby receives and can lead to the death of the fetus or permanent disability, Fisk said. 

To acknowledge misinformation, he said, the vaccines do not make women infertile. Rather, evidence shows they’ll lead to a successful pregnancy. 

“We respect everyone’s ability to choose whether they get vaccinated or not and respect that decision. As medical professionals in the field of public health, it’s really trying to get the word out and help people by providing information to make choices that are most likely to keep them healthy,” Fisk said.

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