Unvaccinated pregnant women infected with COVID-19 are more likely to have complications, pre-term birth
HOUSTON - Dr. Kjersti Aagaard with Baylor College of Medicine specializes in obstetrics, gynecology, and maternal-fetal medicine.
She says while it's too early to tell the delta variant is causing more complications in pregnant women than previous strains of COVID-19, hospitals are full to the brim.
"We've got all kinds of preventable sick people including pregnant women and their young children," Dr. Aagaard emphasized.
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Pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to become severely ill and their babies are more likely to be born pre-term. On Wednesday, the CDC recommended women who are pregnant, who may become pregnant, and breastfeeding gets the vaccine to prevent severe illness.
Dr. Aagaard says she has seen some breakthrough cases but most are mild.
"They don't get as sick and they don't end up in the ICU and their babies survive," she told FOX 26.
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She says the pregnant women hospitalized with COVID-19 are largely unvaccinated.
"I think a lot of the time it originates from misinformation or fear that really breaks my heart," Dr. Aagaard said referring to the reasons why her patients are not vaccinated.
She stresses the vaccine is safe for pregnant women at any stage in their pregnancy.
Dr. Aagaard says there's no evidence the vaccine will cause miscarriage and points to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that looked at about 2,500 pregnant women who got the vaccine.
"They found there was no increased risk of miscarriage. In fact, there was a slight decrease risk relative to those who didn't get the vaccine," Dr. Aagaard noted.
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She says it's also biologically impossible for the mRNA vaccine to cause infertility. She says the mRNA vaccines have been studied in animal models for about 5 years.
"We have zero evidence of problems with infertility in animal models. We have no evidence in early human studies of any relationship to infertility," she added.
The vaccine has been found to transfer antibodies from the pregnant mother to the unborn child. As for side effects, Dr. Aagaard says pregnant women are not any more likely to have them than women who are not pregnant.