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New study reinforces importance of COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant women

Health

New study reinforces importance of COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant women

Expectant mothers aren’t the only ones who benefit when they receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
When a pregnant woman is vaccinated, she also provides her unborn child with protective antibodies, a new study shows, adding to the growing body of research that indicates the vaccine benefits both pregnant women and their babies.
Findings from the New York University study showed babies born to mothers vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines had protective antibodies in their bloodstream. Women who were fully vaccinated during the second half of their pregnancies delivered the highest levels of antibodies to their babies. Researchers tested 36 newborns born to vaccinated mothers.
“This is further evidence that COVID-19 vaccination is critically important for expectant moms,” says Tidelands Health OB-GYN Dr. Monica Selander, who practices Tidelands Health Women’s Center. “Not only is she protecting herself, but she’s also providing protection to her infant. One vaccine has the potential to save two lives. That’s an incredible benefit.”

Important findings

The study’s findings are important because COVID-19 vaccination rates among pregnant people remain low. Only about 30 percent of pregnant people have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Low vaccination rates among pregnant people are concerning experts because statistics show they’re at increased risk for severe illness, death and pregnancy complications such as preterm birth and stillbirth.
As of mid-October, there were more than 128,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in pregnant people, resulting in more than 22,000 hospitalizations and 180 deaths.
To help encourage more pregnant mothers to be vaccinated, the CDC recently issued a health advisory strongly recommending COVID-19 vaccination either before or during pregnancy.

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The recommendation for pregnant women to be vaccinated is also supported by leading obstetrical organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
Getting vaccinated is quick and easy. Tidelands Health offers the no-cost COVID-19 vaccine at three regional vaccination sites in Horry and Georgetown counties. Appointments aren’t necessary; you can simply walk in to get the vaccine during the clinics’ regular operating hours.
“The benefits of vaccination far outweigh any known or potential risks,” Dr. Selander says. “Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can prevent severe illness, hospitalization, death and serious pregnancy complications. Hopefully, these new findings encourage more pregnant women to consider the vaccine to protect themselves and their babies.”

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