Louisville doctors explain whether pregnant women are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 6:30 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As the United States gets closer to distributing a second coronavirus vaccine, there’s a warning for some people not to get it.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women were not included in recent coronavirus studies. Currently, there’s not enough research about how Pfizer’s or Moderna’s vaccines could affect them. But local doctors say that doesn’t mean they’re ineligible to get it.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women are urged to talk to their doctors about getting the vaccine when it becomes available. Ultimately, doctors say it will be up to the patient.

Although there’s not a lot of evidence about the vaccine, doctors say they are noticing how the virus could hurt the mother or baby.

If a pregnant mother gets infected COVID-19, doctors say it could lead to a high-risk pregnancy. Those patients could have a higher chance of intubation, ICU admission, and a slightly higher chance of death in pregnancy.

The good news is that doctors say there’s little evidence showing that a mother with COVID-19 can pass the virus off to her baby.

”We’re still learning about the effects on the developing fetus,” UofL Health’s Dr. Sara Petruska said. “It does look like there’s not a huge chance for vertical transmission ... Some studies are showing there may be an increased chance of stillbirth, and there may be a chance of pre-term delivery in patients who have the coronavirus.”

If a pregnant woman with COVID-19 is in delivery, Petruska said it is up to her to decide whether to allow loved ones in the room with her. Per hospital regulations, only one person is allowed in the hospital room.

Find more on UofL Hospital’s regulations by clicking here.

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