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Medical experts urging pregnant women to get COVID-19 vaccine

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine both say pregnant women should be vaccinated.

Two groups that specialize in medicine for pregnant women are urging anyone pregnant to get their COVID vaccine.

The Ohio Department of Health said about 50% of Ohioans have received at least their first dose of the COVID vaccine. According to the CDC, that number for pregnant women is less than half.

“It's running around 20%,” said Dr. Michael Cackovic, a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine at Ohio State University.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine both say pregnant women should be vaccinated. Dr. Cackovic is echoing the recommendation.

“I think we have enough data on the vaccine to say it's safe; I think we have enough data in pregnancy to know that COVID is a danger to pregnant women,” he said.

He said pregnant individuals have similar symptoms when it comes to complicated cases of COVID-19 like pneumonia or respiratory failure. The difference is the fetus.

“We have the added patient of the fetus is inside there so basically if mom can't breathe or get oxygen to the fetus and then the fetus goes downhill,” said Dr. Cackovic.

He said that can cause doctors to remove a baby prematurely.

So why wait? Dr. Cackovic said some pregnant women are concerned with a lack of research. But he says the New England Journal of Medicine released a study with close to 36,000 pregnant participants who received a vaccine. 28.6% were in their first trimester, 43.3% in their second trimester, and 25.7% in their third trimester.

“The miscarriage rate among those pregnant persons was less than 1%, so that's lower than the general public,” said Dr. Cackovic.

So with that amount of data along with the potential side effects, Dr. Cackovic is recommending the vaccine.

“It is scary that we do have a tool and it's not being utilized,” he said.

When asked if pregnant women will be subjected to vaccine requirements for businesses, Dr. Cackovic says, from what he's seen, yes. The standard he's seen being used is if individuals are eligible for a flu vaccine. He said sometimes pregnant women in their first trimester may be an exception.