Content provided by Sharp HealthCare
A local woman has a unique vantage point on being vaccinated while pregnant. Dr. Rebecca Adami, a board-certified OB-GYN and maternal-fetal medicine doctor affiliated with Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, specializes in the care of women with high-risk pregnancies and chose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the first trimester of her own pregnancy.
“Like anyone else, I wanted to make an informed decision,” Dr. Adami says. “After seeing the data from the FDA advisory committee, I really had no concerns about getting vaccinated.”
According to Dr. Adami, while most pregnant women with COVID-19 will have relatively mild symptoms or may even be asymptomatic, about 5 percent will become severely ill. Studies have shown that pregnant women who become infected with COVID-19 are more likely to require hospitalization, intubation, heart and lung support, and are more likely to die than non-pregnant women of the same age.
Additionally, she notes that experts are still learning about the effects of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy on the fetus, especially if the infection occurs in the first or second trimesters. “We know there is a significant association between COVID-19 and preterm delivery and NICU admission, as well as a possible increased risk of stillbirth,” she says.
COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers have begun to include pregnant women in vaccine trials, which will provide increased understanding of the effects the vaccine has on them and their infants.
Until further information is available, Dr. Adami encourages anyone who is contemplating pregnancy to receive the vaccine prior to becoming pregnant, and people who are pregnant to receive the vaccine after a discussion with their doctor about the risks of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy and the available data regarding vaccination during pregnancy.