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Local doctors react to new data showing that COVID vaccines provide protection to babies in womb

Recommend pregnant women get vaccinated
Dr. Sheetal Das pregnant with her second child
Posted at 5:21 AM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 09:15:14-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The CDC has released new data showing that pregnant women who receive the COVID vaccine pass on immunity protection to their newborns. The new information reinforces the stance the CDC and other local health experts have held for months, that it is safe and encouraged for pregnant women to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

The data shows that the chances a baby 6 months or younger is hospitalized due to COVID is 61 percent lower if the mother received her two doses of Moderna or Pfizer during pregnancy.

Dr. David Colombo, Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Spectrum Health, says he knows he sounds like a broken record, but it's a message too important not to keep pushing.

“It's to the point where people don't really want to hear it anymore. But we want to be clear that we all believe that this vaccine can improve pregnancy outcomes," he said.

He adds the biggest risk to pregnant women is getting COVID-19, not the possible side effects from getting the vaccine while pregnant. Dr. Colombo says the two just can't be compared.

“I would say for the average woman, the biggest risk to your pregnancy in 2022 is COVID," he said. "If a mother catches COVID and gets sick, she's at increased risk for preterm birth, which can cause a host of lifetime problems.”

Dr. Sheetal Das, also with Spectrum Health, recently gave birth to her second baby boy. Working in the hospital with COVID-19 patients while pregnant, she knew it was important to protect her baby, receiving her booster a few months into her second pregnancy.

“You know, that just makes me feel so much better because he's still so young and eventually I'm going to be putting him in daycare and I would love to be able to give him some protection," she said.

More data is still being collected on how boosters fall into the equation, but Dr. Colombo says if it looks anything like this new CDC data, we're in great shape.

“I would recommend that women all women get vaccinated as quickly as possible, irregardless of pregnancy. I wouldn't let trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, recently postpartum affect your decisions at all," Dr. Colombo said.

Dr. Das and her baby boy are both doing well. In fact, Dr. Das has yet to catch COVID, even while working in the hospital.

Everyone over the age of 5-years-old is eligible for the COVID vaccine.