Mom-to-be and pediatrician stresses importance of expecting moms getting the vaccine

SPOKANE, Wash. — Doctors are urging mothers-to-be to get the COVID-19 vaccine for themselves and their babies.

That’s because the Delta variant is more contagious and is sending pregnant women to the hospital.

Dr. Yvette Rosser is seven months along with her first baby. She is also a pediatrician. She says she got the shot as soon as it was available to health care providers. However, she says she was also waiting for more data to come out.

“I was waiting for the final recommendation and FDA’s approval saying that this vaccine was not only safe for non-pregnant patients but safe for pregnant patients,” she said.

That just so happened to be right before she got pregnant.

Director for Women’s Services at Providence Dr. Mark Schemmel says not only is the vaccine safe, but it could also protect an unborn baby against the virus. He says some of the mother’s antibodies are able to cross the placenta and enter the fetal circulation.

“That may not be the be-all and the end-all of a decision-making process for a woman but they are safe,” Schemmel said.

Not only does the vaccine offers protection from the virus, but it can also help keep the mother out of the hospital. Schemmel says preterm labor is just one of the many complications that could happen if a pregnant woman ends up with coronavirus.

“Not only can protect their newborn from the perspective of reducing their risk of pre-term birth but they can protect themselves from developing severe disease as well.”

Schemmel says pregnant women have a higher risk of ending up in the hospital in general.

“COVID-19 in pregnancy is far harder around pregnant women than it is on non-pregnant women. Pregnant women are at a much increased risk to develop severe illness, to require hospitalization, to end up on a ventilator on an ICU,” Schemmel said.

With all of this information in mind, Dr. Rosser says she is glad she’s vaccinated.

“Although I don’t think being a healthcare provider ultimately influenced my decision it made me realize early like this is so important for me to be protected so that I can protect the people around me,” Rosser said.

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