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Vaccinations in pregnancy against COVID-19. Doctor: Women are encouraged to get vaccinated after the first trimester

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Pregnant women should get vaccinated against COVID-19 after the first trimester – says professor Mariusz Grzesiak from the Institute of Polish Mother’s Health Center in Łódź. The severe course of COVID-19, with which unvaccinated patients are at risk, may threaten the life and health of the mother and child, he reminds.

– We encourage pregnant women to vaccinate against COVID-19 after the first trimester, i.e. from the 12th week of pregnancy. Due to various physiological conditions, pregnant women are very vulnerable to infection and very often become our patients. The comparative analysis shows that infected with SARS-CoV-2 pregnant women are much more likely than uninfected women to suffer from various types of pathologies – such as preterm labor, miscarriage, premature drainage of amniotic fluid – says Prof. Mariusz Grzesiak, head of the Perinatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic at the Institute of Polish Mother’s Health Center and the voivodeship consultant for gynecology and obstetrics.

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Vaccination can protect your baby

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The gynecologist points out that although American and British databases already include over 100,000. women vaccinated at different stages of pregnancy, however, Polish gynecologists are cautious in approaching this issue. – Pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, when it is rapidly developing, especially until the end of organogenesis, i.e. the production of all organs in the developing embryo, is the most sensitive period. We would like to know as much as possible about the impact of vaccines in this most critical period, he adds.

Research shows that vaccination of the expectant mother may also protect her child – anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were found in the umbilical cord blood of newborns from vaccinated mothers. Women who previously received two doses of the vaccine are recommended a booster dose six months later.

– This is important because we already know that immunization will not protect us against potential infection unconditionally, but it does reduce the risk of it. If an infection does occur, it makes it milder. We had patients with an extremely severe course of COVID-19 in our clinic – all unvaccinated. They stayed in our intensive care unit, and after the termination of pregnancy, forced by the serious condition of these women, some of them had to be connected to a respirator for another month – explained Prof. Grzesiak.

In the case of a rapid deterioration in a pregnant woman with COVID-19, when her saturation drops and despite oxygen therapy, it still has abnormal values, the potential hypoxia applies not only to the woman, but also to her child. The only salvation is termination of pregnancy.

– Babies born in the 27th week of pregnancy are premature babies with low or very low birth weight. Our center specializes in neonatal care at the highest level, but such situations also occur in other places in Poland, where there is no access to such services – the patient experiences a rapid deterioration, the immediate necessity to terminate the pregnancy, and the baby born too early is transported, e.g. to another city. And he is at risk of, inter alia, bleeding into the central nervous system, respiratory failure, necrotizing enterocolitis – emphasizes the gynecologist.

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Chance of a milder course of infection

Up to 10 pregnant patients infected with SARS-COv-2 are constantly present at the Institute of Polish Medicine in Łódź. The situation is similar in other clinical hospitals. In infected pregnant women who are in good condition and show no respiratory distress, pregnancy can be carried out on an outpatient basis, without the need for hospitalization.

– Vaccination of a pregnant woman gives a greater chance that even if she becomes infected, its course will be milder, and this is a game worth the candle – emphasizes prof. Grzesiak.

According to the gynecologist, the fear of women with vaccination during pregnancy is understandable, while the role of doctors – while allowing the patient to make decisions entirely voluntarily – is to show the advantages of vaccination and its importance for the safety of the child and mother.

Sam points out that young mothers are particularly vulnerable to “catching” the coronavirus from their children who are too young to be vaccinated and often have asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic infection.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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