Amarillo doctor says vaccines are ‘critical’ to prevent pregnancy complications due to COVID-19

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 12:41 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - For more than a month, a new mother battling COVID-19 in Amarillo has not been able to meet her child.

Instead of spending time with her newborn, the woman is connected to a ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit at NWTH.

For pregnant mothers, whether or not to receive a COVID-19 vaccination continues to be an area of concern. Area health experts addressed this concern during a news conference this morning.

“Understandably women are nervous about an intervention that could put their baby at risk (but) once you get past the first trimester, the baby is almost fully formed and is just growing after that,” said Dr. Brian Weis, chief medical officer for NWTH, responding to concerns about stillbirth.

Dr. Weis said several infants have been delivered prematurely at the hospital during the pandemic, not due to vaccination but due to the effects of COVID-19 on the mother.

“In our experience at Northwest, we have had to deliver several infants prematurely because their mothers were getting sick to the point of having to go to the ICU and be put on a ventilator,” said Dr. Weis. “I think these vaccines are critical to prevent these complications in pregnancy.”

Dr. Todd Bell, public health authority for the city, said misinformation is being spread on social media as to vaccination during pregnancy.

“There is data now that COVID itself causes increase risk of stillbirth and there is some suggestion that COVID itself can cause issues with fertility in men and women,” said Dr. Bell. “We have good evidence that the vaccines don’t do either of those.”

Dr. Bell encouraged those considering vaccination to review “reputable sources” on pregnancy and vaccination such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the CDC.

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