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Springfield health experts discuss safety of COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant patients

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 5:06 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Pregnant women are included in the list of high risk individuals within Missouri’s Phase 1B-Tier Two COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Mercy’s Vice President of Primary Care Dr. David Barbe says there’s nothing he has seen that would indicate the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t safe for pregnant women.

“It’s like everything we do,” Barbe says. “It’s a risk versus a benefit. We know that pregnant women’s immune system is down. It’s part of being pregnant.”

Barbe says he’s recommending the coronavirus vaccine to pregnant patients the same way he would recommend the flu shot to them. Barbe says the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks of getting the virus.

”We’ve had multiple millions of doses given now across the country and the world as far as that goes,” Barbe says. “The safety seems to be consistently upheld.”

Kathryn Wall with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department says it expects most high-risk individuals, like pregnant women, will get the vaccine from their healthcare provider. Wall says it’s important to talk to your doctor first.

”There weren’t a lot of pregnant women included in the trials for this setting so we just don’t have a whole lot of data as to the specific health impacts or results that might be part of taking this vaccine,” Wall says.

Wall says right now its role is to fill the gaps within the community by providing vaccines to healthcare workers not associated with the hospitals before moving on to vaccinating first responders or those high risk individuals.

”Have that conversation,” Wall says. “Understand what those risks might be, what we do know, what we don’t know and then make an educated decision based on that.”

CoxHealth says it is also supporting for pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine. CoxHealth says pregnant women are at an increased risk of severe infection from the coronavirus, including hospitalization, ICU care ventilation and death 36 pregnant women were included in the original COVID-19 vaccine trials and no adverse pregnancy outcomes have been reported so far.

The Stone County Health Department posted on its Facebook that it will not be vaccinating pregnant women. The Stone County Health Department did not respond to KY3′s request for an interview.

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Posted by Stone County Health Department on Thursday, January 14, 2021

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