New and expecting mothers should get the COVID-19 vaccine to help protect them and their babies, Dr. Rachel Humphrey, director of AdventHealth for Women’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine Program, said at today’s AdventHealth Morning Briefing.
Humphrey said many of her patients have asked about the safety of the vaccine and she has offered assurances that the mRNA vaccine technology is safe and that while the body’s immune response is only temporary, the benefits are passed along to infants and can last for the first six to 12 weeks of life when newborns are susceptible to infections of any kind.
“The mom gets the antibodies, and just like anything mom is immune to, those antibodies go to the baby and they confer some protection for the baby,” Humphrey said.
The vaccine is especially critical, she noted, because pregnant women are five times more likely to experience complications if they contract the COVID virus and more likely to need care in the ICU, including being placed on a ventilator.
More than 69,000 pregnant women in the United States have been vaccinated and there’s been no reported increase in complications for either the mother or the baby, she said. In addition, there are no links between the vaccine and fertility in those who may wish to become pregnant in the future.
“The battle against misinformation is significant,” Humphrey said.
While the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized at AdventHealth hospitals in Central Florida was on the decline in recent weeks, the total increased this week to about 370.
The number is “creeping back up again,” Humphrey said, emphasizing the importance of getting the vaccine and continuing to take other precautions such as wearing masks, washing hands and keeping socially distant from others.
Those interested can sign up for alerts to learn when more appointments are available at www.CoronavirusVaccineAlerts.com.
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