Doctor’s thoughts: Vaccine available for pregnant women

Starting Thursday, pregnant Ohioans are now eligible to get a Covid vaccine.

Gov. Mike DeWine made the announcement earlier this week.

“If I’m able to get the vaccine, I will,” Sierra Smith said.

The soon-to-be Miamisburg mom is 35 weeks pregnant, which means she has spent her entire pregnancy in a pandemic.

“The cons is just not really being able to see family and everything, because pregnant women are at a higher risk for severe Covid outcomes, so that’s been pretty difficult,” Smith said.

That is why Dr. David McKenna, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Miami Valley Hospital applauds the governor’s decision to make the Covid vaccine available for pregnant women.

“We think there’s much greater risk to babies if moms get Covid while pregnant, so that’s why we recommend the vaccine to prevent it,” Dr. McKenna said.

He explained, the CDC is collecting data on 30,000 pregnant women who have already gotten the shot.

“To date, we have not seen any kind of pattern to suggest that it’s harmful,” Dr. McKenna said.

He added, side effects are not any more frequent for pregnant women than they are for the general population.

Smith said the side effects are worth it.

“Getting the vaccine for me is definitely a better option than I think waiting and then potentially getting Covid and then if something bad happens, I wouldn’t be able to hold my baby. And that’s way scarier to me than feeling bad for a couple days from a vaccine,” Smith said.

Dr. McKenna said there is no need to wait until the end of the first trimester to get vaccinated.