BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — To get the COVID-19 vaccine or not is another one of those important decisions expecting parents have had to make. This week the CDC strongly urging their choice be to get vaccinated because they say the benefits outweigh known or potential risks.
“It actually can give some antibodies to the infant that is born, and we’ve seen that with other vaccines. That is why with more safety and effectiveness data, the CDC have made a stronger recommendation that pregnant women should get vaccinated,” said Erica Pan California State Epidemiologist and Deputy Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases.
According to the CDC, less than a third of pregnant people in the United States have that protection from COVID-19 that Chan talked about.
The CDC confirmed that 97% of pregnant people hospitalized were unvaccinated and of the 161 expecting mothers that died from the virus, 22 were from August alone.
An official with the Kern County Public Health Department told 23ABC in part:
“According to the California Department of Public Health and CDC, pregnant people are at higher risk of getting very sick with COVID-19 than people who are not pregnant. Pregnant people with COVID-19 are also at higher risk for pregnancy complications, such as high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, death, and stillbirth. Pregnant people with COVID-19 may also be at higher risk for giving birth early.”
23ABC reached out to viewers on Facebook to see if they would get the vaccine while pregnant. Of the dozens of comments, received most of those who responded who were pregnant still did not feel comfortable getting the vaccine even with the new CDC guidance.
“I understand, absolutely, pregnant women want to do what’s right for themselves and their baby,” said Pan.
Pan assures pregnant people that the vaccines are safe and effective. Kern County Public Health echoed this, continuing in part in their statement:
“There are currently limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people; however, clinical trials to evaluate the potential risks of COVID-19 vaccines to the pregnant people and their babies are underway or planned. Public health experts have analyzed data from a CDC registry of over 35,000 women [nejm.org] who were vaccinated with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines while pregnant or around the time of conception. They found no obvious safety concerns. Also, participants did not report any more complications than normal.”
Pan told 23ABC she’s heard other falsehoods when it comes to pregnancy and pandemic vaccines.
“That somehow these vaccines can cause fertility problems, hormonal problems, puberty menopause, I've been hearing a lot of myths, but there’s no evidence of that for this vaccine or any other vaccine,” said Pan.