HOUSTON - One question asked repeatedly since the COVID-19 Vaccine became available ’should I get the vaccine if I’m pregnant?’ is not being taken lightly by a Houston healthcare worker. Kristin Malaer's research has been extensive. The Memorial Hermann Hospital Social Worker works with heart and lung transplant patients. "The patient population that I serve does have a compromised immune system," Malaer said.
Malaer is seven months pregnant. So she has put in work finding out everything possible, regarding expecting mom's receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine. "I printed off all of the official statements from the associations that follow OB/GYN medicine, Fetal Medicine and Reproductive Medicine. I printed two copies one for me and one for him," Malaer said.
Him, meaning her husband. The couple is expecting their first child.
"We don’t know what we’re having so we call him or her Peanut. My main question was what are the risks or potential risks either theoretical or factual on Peanut," Malaer said.
Protecting Peanut means deciding if she should be vaccinated against COVID-19?
"It is a big decision. It is a scary one and I acknowledge that. One of the biggest concerns was that pregnant women weren't included in the trials," Malaer said.
In addition to Malaer's online inquiries to the CDC, which admits there’s limited data, she went to ACOG, the American College of Obstetrician and Gynecology, and SMFM, which is the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine.
This expectant mom and medical professional also turned to her colleagues. "As well as talked to my own Practitioner and a Neonatologist".
Malaer says she kept getting one answer. "This is safe. It is one of the safest vaccines that is available to date," she said.
So Malaer got the vaccine. She believes getting immunized will protect her, those she comes in contact with and her baby.
"In fact, there’s even more of a benefit for me to get the vaccine because I am protecting Baby by having my anti-bodies passed to Baby either in utero or through breast milk," Malaer said.
This mom to be may get quite the birthday gift. Her little Peanut is due right around her birthday in March 2021. By the way, she says she did not suffer any side effects after being vaccinated. Malaer hopes her research will help other moms to be but ultimately she is encouraging other women to educate themselves on the safety of receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine while pregnant.