One of the most vulnerable groups to serious COVID-19 infection is also one of the least vaccinated.
Just under half of Hoosiers age 20-to-40 have been vaccinated. But among pregnant women, the vaccination rate is about a third.
The C-D-C explicitly recommends the vaccine if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. I-U Health maternal fetal medicine specialist Caroline Rouse says women are often apprehensive about any medical treatments during pregnancy. But she says data from thousands of vaccinations show no increased risk of infertility, miscarriage or birth defects.
The risk, both to mothers and babies, is actually just the opposite. Rouse says pregnant women who get COVID are twice as likely to be hospitalized by the illness,
Doctors emphasize neither mothers nor babies are at risk from the vaccine — just the opposite. Pregnant women who get COVID are twice as likely to be hospitalized and run a higher risk of delivering stillborn or premature babies. And Rouse says COVID raises the risk of dying during pregnancy by a factor of 22.
A preliminary draft of House Republicans’ bill to limit employer vaccine mandates specifically mentioned pregnancy and anticipated pregnancy as grounds for a medical exemption. That provision has been deleted from the bill, which now simply requires employers to grant exemptions for any documented “medical reasons.” A House committee will hold a hearing on the bill next week.
Rouse will join two more doctors from I-U and Saint Vincent on Wednesday evening for a virtual town hall organized by the Hamilton County Health Department to answer questions about pregnancy and COVID.