Health Report: Doctors recommend COVID vaccine on case-by-case basis for pregnant women

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 4:18 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Doctors have recommended that pregnant women should receive a COVID-19 vaccine on a case-by-case basis.

With Alaska opening vaccine eligibility to everyone age 16 and older, many residents are signing up for their vaccinations. Some of those residents may have concerns about whether there are any side effects of the vaccine on pregnant women.

While there isn’t a large pool of information at this time, health care professionals are optimistic. Doctor John McKenna, Obstetrician Gynecologist with Fairbanks Memorial Hospital explained, “So far we are still collecting data on the safety of the COVID vaccine for pregnant women. Everything that we have to this point suggests that it is most likely something that’s safe to get. It’s still something that we encourage everybody to have a discussion [about] with their health provider and come up with an individual decision and an individual approach for each patient. It definitely should be available to all pregnant women and breastfeeding women.”

Dr. McKenna has had patients express concerns regarding how quickly the vaccine was approved.

“This vaccine went through the emergency use authorization, and for some people that gives them a lot of anxiety. I’ve personally had a lot of patients that think that that emergency use authorization means that the vaccine really didn’t get tested at all. But it did. Even the EUA process goes through phase one, two, and three clinical trials, and they do have up to thousands of people who are receiving this vaccine before it is granted the emergency use authorization approval,” commented Dr. Mckenna.

While in general it is recommended for pregnant women to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. McKenna emphasizes that health care professionals should be consulted. “Generally it would have to depend on their specific health history. That’s something that we do have to take an individualized approach to. If it were me, I would get [the vaccine]. I’ve gotten it as a provider, if I were a pregnant woman I would also get it. The biggest thing that we want to get across is that patients have access to it, and they should have that conversation with their health care provider.”

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