Pregnant women now eligible to receive coronavirus vaccine in Louisiana

Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 7:29 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Pregnant women can now get the COVID vaccine in Louisiana, but many expectant mothers have concerns. Pfizer started its vaccine trial with pregnant women last Friday, but even with limited data, many OB/GYN’s are recommending the vaccine. Among those is OB/GYN, Dr. Uzma Naeem from Christus Ochsner Lake Area Hospital.

“Pregnant women are immunocompromised. So, it’s important to validate that and acknowledge that. You know, we’ve been concerned about this virus since the beginning because we knew how high flu mortality was and how it affected pregnant women.”

Though the research is very limited, Naeem recommends the vaccine for pregnant patients, saying side effects are less severe than contracting the virus.

“There would be a higher risk of the actual virus or Coronavirus, causing some sort of defect. And by having the vaccine, you’re decreasing your risk of that. We just don’t, because everything’s so new, we just don’t really have any data on that.”

Once administered, she says it’s protection for both the mother and the child.

“Breastfeeding would give those antibodies to the baby and also the baby would receive those antibodies in utero. So, it’s good both ways the baby’s getting some protection before it’s born and after.”

Even though there’s potential for symptoms, she says those symptoms are rare.

“Out of the initial millions of people that were injected with the vaccination, we saw less than five or five, 4 million have those side effects. And so I think it would be the same in the pregnant population.”

Dr. Naeem says if a pregnant woman experiences side effects after getting the vaccine, those symptoms could be more severe since these women are immunocompromised.

Like the flu vaccine, she says pregnant women can receive the vaccine at any gestational age.

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