UAB officials urge pregnant women to take COVID-19 vaccine

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(WHNT) — Health officials at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) held a news conference answering the questions many have regarding the COVID-19 vaccine as it pertains to pregnancy.

In just the first 19 days of August, UAB saw an admission of 39 COVID-19 positive patients who were pregnant – while some women are worried about being vaccinated, Dr. Audra Williams says regardless of what trimester you’re in, there’s data to prove the vaccine is safe.

“Any point during the pregnancy or even when a woman is contemplating getting pregnant, is a good time to get the vaccine,” Williams said. “[The vaccine] did not show any adverse outcomes, no changes in the miscarriage rate, at about 13-15% in the vaccinated rate versus the unvaccinated population.”

According to UAB’s website, to date, two COVID-19 positive women have died while pregnant at the hospital. Another six COVID-19 positive women have lost their baby during the second trimester.

Three others have lost their baby during their third trimester.

Dr. Jodie Dionne, associate director of UAB’s global health in the center for women’s reproductive health says with this being a new pandemic and a virus we’ve never seen before, more advanced materials and research have been put into the vaccine.

“The mRNA technology is a new technology that we’ve never used, so clearly you would not give an unstudied vaccine to a pregnant woman,” said Dionne. “Millions and millions of dollars have been invested in these trials.”

With trials being run on adults and now pregnant woman in some studies, Dr. Dionne says we know more now than we ever have before.

“We’re no longer in a place where we don’t have data,” Dionne continued. “We have clear data [for] pregnant women [and] the safety of the vaccine.”

Dr. Dionne added the risk of contracting COVID-19 and it’s long and short term effects while pregnant are far greater than getting the vaccine while pregnant.

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