PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — With Bay County in phase one of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, healthcare professionals, long term healthcare facility residents and the elderly are now receiving their doses.
Pregnant people also fall into phase one.
“It’s a tough time for pregnant women for sure,” said Dr. Jacob Martin, an OBGYN at Emerald Coast Obstetrics and Gynecology. “On top of being worried about being pregnant, you’re also now worried about COVID too, and you’re stuck inside, social distancing, it’s a real stressful time.”
The vaccine trials for Moderna and Pfizer did not include pregnant or lactating women, leaving many wondering whether it’s safe during pregnancy. But the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) put out an advisory on the vaccine. It stated that pregnant and lactating women should not be withheld from getting the vaccine. The reason being that it’s an MRNA vaccine as opposed to a live-virus vaccine.
“What it does is it tells your cells to produce what’s called a spike protein and then your body creates antibodies against that spike protein and that’s how you get immunity,” Martin said.
Martin added that the MRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cell so it does not change the overall DNA.
“From the preliminary data that they have, they’re not finding any adverse reactions,” Martin said.
Martin said pregnancy should not be a deciding factor in whether or not to get the vaccine if you are eligible to get it.
“Pregnant women as a whole can get much more severely ill than non-pregnant women,” Martin said. “What they [ACOG] have advised is whenever it becomes your criteria — your level to get the vaccine, just because you’re pregnant or just because you’re lactating, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the vaccine.”
Martin said there has not been any conclusive research done yet on whether the immunity from the virus could be passed down from the mother to the baby since the vaccine is so new. And from preliminary data from a study done on rats, there have been no side effects passed on through pregnant rats.
No conclusive research has been done on the long-term effects yet either.
Martin added that if you decide to get the COVID-19 vaccine, you should wait at least 14 days in between getting the Tdap and Flu vaccines.
If you are considering getting the vaccine, consult your doctor for more information.