Pregnant Women Can Get Vaccinated, Medical Experts Say

It’s perfectly okay for pregnant women to be vaccinated, says a medical expert who even made a categorical assurance that neither the mother nor the baby would suffer from any complication arising from the procedure.

According to Dr. John Thoppil in his capacity as president of the Texas Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, vaccination against the dreaded coronavirus disease is a must, especially for pregnant women as cases of coronavirus infections rise across the United States.

Dr. Thoppil explained that hesitancy is no longer an option for pregnant women even as he claimed vaccine hesitancy among some pregnant women become more vulnerable and may eventually compromise their safety especially during their second and third trimesters.

Echoing Dr. Thoppil’s claim is emergency room physician and global health specialist Dr. Natasha Kathuria who hinted at her own encounter inside the emergency C-sections, which she described as the most appropriate place for unvaccinated pregnant women who are giving birth.

Dr. Kathuria said that as much as possible, she would not want to see pregnant moms delivering birth inside the emergency C-sections where newborns either end up as NICU or ICU babies just to save the mother.

“They’re forced to have emergency C-sections and have their child taken and force the child to be a NICU baby and an ICU baby, just to save mom. It’s traumatic,” said Dr. Kathuria.

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Citing the case of Maria Garza, Dr. Thoppil said that the pregnant mom had herself vaccinated after her husband Jason died of COVID-19 in February this year.

After being vaccinated, Garza, a COVID-19 survivor, was able to deliver a baby diagnosed as healthy and free from the highly infectious coronavirus.

Dr. Thoppil, who delivered Garza’s baby, explained that the baby actually shared the vaccine with the pregnant mother.

“Currently, we have at least two patients admitted to the ICU who are pregnant with COVID. We know that COVID doubles the risk of intubation, hospitalization, and severe morbidity. So pregnant women are certainly at a very high risk of getting sick, sicker than the general population if they contract COVID,” Thoppil lamented.

He also went on to brag about efforts of researchers looking at data from tens of thousands of pregnant women who have been vaccinated. The data, Dr. Thoppil added, seemed a welcome development as moms and babies don’t manifest complications arising from the jab.

“There are now actually new trials looking specifically at pregnant women, but we have that data retrospectively looking back at who got vaccinated, and we’re seeing no change in outcome, meaning that there is no increased risk of complications. No evidence of harm, and we’re also showing antibodies passing across to the baby,” Thoppil averred.

Interestingly, new trials are being conducted for pregnant women addressing other variants of concern.

“We have some pretty compelling data that the vaccine is 80% effective in the Israeli trials for the delta variant, but more importantly the people who got it had very mild disease,” he added.

For Garza, seeing her newborn baby One Leander healthy is somehow a consolation for her, especially after losing her husband to the coronavirus.

“It was so bittersweet. Feeling his presence there was special,” said Garza, who contracted COVID-19 last year. Her case is considered mild and was expecting her husband’s infection to not be that serious.

“A couple days later, he started having trouble breathing, especially at night. About a week later, he was sent to the hospital, because he really couldn’t catch his breath. He couldn’t walk. A week after that he was put on a ventilator. So it was a very, very fast progression of disease there,” Garza recalled.

It was then that she had herself vaccinated, admitted Garza who personally saw her husband on a ventilator rapidly deteriorating. Despite doctors’ effort to save him, Garza’s husband eventually died barely three months after.

“We were even given the opportunity to go to Florida for a lung transplant, but he was so unstable that that couldn’t happen,” Garza explained. “So ultimately, he did not make it. When he tested positive, I was already five months pregnant with our son, and it was going to be his second son. I don’t wish this on anybody.”

“He should have had a short disease, and he didn’t. Any pregnant woman out there, as a mom, what you want to do first and foremost is to protect your children, and I was able to do that with the COVID vaccine,” Garza said in her public appeal to pregnant women in the state.