Doctors ramp up efforts to encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated for COVID-19

Posted at 7:33 AM, Sep 24, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — There are growing concerns for pregnant women contracting COVID-19.

“There is an absolute significant increase in morbidity that’s being seen in pregnant women due to COVID,” said Dr. David Berger, Board Certified Pediatrician at Wholistic Pediatrics and Family Care.

That’s one of many reasons doctors are worried about expectant mothers right now, with the Delta variant proving to be dangerous.

“We definitely can see where pregnant women, compared to women who are not pregnant, tend to have a higher risk of more severe disease,” said Dr. Alyssa Brown, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tampa General Hospital and Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida.

Experts say pregnancy makes women more immunocompromised.

“Pregnancy is a time of a person being immunocompromised. You don’t want your body to fight off your growing baby. It also makes you more prone to become sicker,” said Brown.

Doctors say the infection can be much more severe and complicated for expectant mothers. They're seeing that firsthand in local hospitals.

“Increased number of women being hospitalized, increased number of women who are being put in ICUs, increased number of preterm births and therefore also increased number of neonatal ICU admissions,” said Berger.

“Taking care of pregnant women, and pregnant women with COVID, I see it day in and day out, the effects that that has on these women and their families,” said Brown.

As hospitalizations grow, the push to get more pregnant women vaccinated intensifies.

At this point, researchers say the data shows there’s no increased risk for expectant mothers to get vaccinated over the general population.

“Now there's been millions and millions of doses that have been given and the concerns which I think were fair, because this was so new, but they haven't really played out in any of the literature in any of the reporting systems,” said Berger.