Should you get the coronavirus vaccine if you are pregnant? The FDA says pregnant women should consult their doctor before getting it, because there is little data regarding the safety of the vaccine for expecting mothers.
NBC 7 spoke to Dr. Joanna Adamczak, a perinatologist and OBGYN at Sharp HealthCare, about the advice she's giving her patients. She said she is thrilled that her patients can receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it's their turn.
“The benefit of receiving the vaccine and therefore protecting the pregnant mom from the disease of COVID-19 is much better than the theoretic risk of potential harm from this mRNA vaccine,” said Dr. Adamczak.
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As long as each patient considers their own situation first.
“What is your potential risk of exposure. Do you live in a household where people may have a higher likelihood of contracting the virus?” said Adamczak.
Also, she suggested asking if you have conditions that may put you at higher risk if you contract COVID-19 such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
“We know that the pregnant patient has a much higher chance of getting admitted to the ICU, having much higher rates of being on a ventilator, and there’s much higher risks of actual maternal death when you compare the same age-related patients,” said Adamczak.
Historically, pregnant and nursing women have been excluded from taking part in vaccine studies. But there are vaccines proven safe like flu and TDAP.
“Sometimes we do more harm by not advocating and not allowing these women to take the interventions and then they’re just kind of left in this area of worry and concern. 'Should I? Should I not?'” said Adamczak.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has been advocating for pregnant women to get the vaccine. They shared photos of pregnant health care workers receiving the vaccine on social media in an effort to encourage people. Adamczak notes the existing fear and anxiety surrounding vaccines in general.
“I think that the worry is reasonable. I understand it. But I hope that our job as OBGYNS, as health care professionals, as doctors, as moms is to educate our patients and educate the masses that this is something that is worthwhile,” said Adamczak.
She said she hopes at the very least expecting moms have a conversation with their doctors.
Thirteen pregnancies were reported in Moderna's trial. Those women either got pregnant after receiving the vaccine, or were pregnant when they got it, but didn't know at the time. Moderna said there were no adverse reactions in those women.