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Lexington doctor discusses pregnant women receiving COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 4:57 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - While pregnant women weren’t intentionally included in the vaccine trials, a Lexington doctor said there has been promising observations made in how many women have responded to their doses.

In the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials, some of the participants did end up becoming pregnant. Dr. Agatha Critchfield, a high risk OBGYN at Baptist Health Lexington, said there were no recorded complications in their pregnancies when the data was presented to the FDA in December.

She said the risk of getting COVID-19 may outweigh any possible risks associated with the vaccine.

The doctor explained pregnant women with COVID are more likely to end up in the ICU, be intubated or deliver early. She recommends women who could become pregnant, are expecting or are nursing talk to their doctor about their own risks, such as where they work, community spread, and pre-existing medical conditions, to decide if getting the vaccine is right for them.

“I’ve seen a lot of pregnant women get the vaccine and if I was a pregnant woman, I’m not, but if I was, I would get the vaccine,”Dr. Critchfield said. “We have just not seen a rash of complications for pregnant women who have received the vaccine, and I would say, that at least most healthcare workers that I know personally have received the vaccine and have done very well.”

Dr. Critchfield noted that vaccine results from Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity (DART) studies were promising.

“We are not rats or mice, but those animal studies were very reassuring,” she said. “There was no safety signal, there was nothing bad that happened.”

Our Shelby Lofton also spoke with Taran Woo, whose pregnancy was at a time unlike any other.

“My husband and I welcomed our first child during the pandemic so that’s been a whole challenge on it’s own,” Woo said. “His name is Kendrick, he’s seven months old.”

She said at first, she had some hesitations about getting vaccinated as a nursing mom.

“Being a parent, you make so many decisions based on what’s best for your baby’s health and not having that information does really add to your stress,” Woo said.

Dr. Critchfield said it’s likely breastfeeding mothers who are vaccinated will be able to pass on some immunity to their baby.

“Those women who have gotten sick and gotten through it are spilling antibodies into their breast milk,” Dr. Critchfield said.

She said in the future research of the vaccines that does include pregnant women, they’re hoping to see that antibodies from the vaccine are passed through breastmilk.

Woo said after talking to her son’s pediatrician who was supportive of her getting the vaccine, and conducting her own research, she opted to get vaccinated.

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