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Why is it so important to get your vaccination if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant?

Vaccine hesitancy is a concerning growing trend, and one based on no scientific evidence. However, many people are still reluctant to get their COVID-19 vaccination. Scientists and medical professionals continue to find no link between the vaccines and an increased risk of fertility problems, and there has been no increased risk of miscarriages or placental abnormalities in pregnant women who received the Pfizer vaccine.

Obstetrician Dr Gauthami Bhagwanani from the birthing unit at Liverpool Hospital has called on pregnant women to get vaccinated. Since June 2021, there has been a concerning number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in pregnant women who have been placed in intensive care and had to deliver babies preterm in order for them to be ventilated.

Dr Bhagwanani also went on to explain the increased risk of pregnant women having a stillbirth in addition to requiring invasive ventilation and needing an ICU admission.

“Having COVID-19 while you’re pregnant means you’re at double the risk of needing an ICU admission,” Dr Bhagwanani said in a statement two days ago, “you have an increased risk of needing invasive ventilation and you’re at increased risk of requiring a pre-term delivery. It also doubles your risk of stillbirth.”

The spread of misinformation on social media — that the vaccine could cause fertility issues and miscarriages — presents as one of the greatest threats to pregnant women and their babies, not the actual vaccine. What actually poses as the greatest risk to a woman’s pregnancy is the actual virus itself.

Currently, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians has strongly recommended that pregnant women — or even women planning to become pregnant — receive the Pfizer vaccine or when available, the Moderna vaccine at any stage during their pregnancy.

Dr Bhagwanani said “it has been heartbreaking to see women and their families separated due to COVID. It has been heartbreaking to deliver babies pre-term because their mums have been so unwell. It has been heartbreaking to separate the babies from their mothers and fathers because they need admission to the nursery and their parents have been too unwell to visit them.”