SAN DIEGO — Our vaccine numbers have gone up to 42% for fully vaccinated San Diegans but that number appears to have remained in the low-40s for a few weeks. One of the reasons could be because people who are pregnant or wanting a baby are hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Being pregnant has its own set of concerns, most parents just want a healthy, happy baby and to get through labor without too much misery.
But these days, when people are asking about the COVID-19 vaccine, it can be a daunting decision. It’s a fairly new thing, after all… something our own moms never had to go through.
To try and ease concerns and answer questions, Dr. Becky Adami is speaking one on one with her patients. She’s a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist and Perinatologist through Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns and Rady Children’s Hospital. And the topic of vaccines comes up a lot in her office. Dr. Adami said, “obviously the people I’ve seen are already pregnant and it’s something I’m recommending for all of my patients.”
Her patients have questions like - "could the vaccine hurt the unborn baby or even reject the placenta?" The answer to all of that, according to Dr. Adami, based on the latest studies on pregnancy, is – no.
In fact, a recent study by Harvard shows pregnant women who were vaccinated had signs of antibodies in the umbilical cord and in their breastmilk, “looks like it’s very good for the mom, protects mom, protects babies, it all seems very very safe.”
And that’s why Dr. Adami was one of the first pregnant women to sign up. She got the shot on the first day it was offered when she was six weeks pregnant, and she got the second dose at nine weeks into her pregnancy.
When News 8 spoke with her, she was 30 weeks pregnant and she says she’s grateful to have the extra protection.
Dr. Adami had infertility issues before her first daughter, who is now a beautiful 3-year-old with a heart-melting smile. And now for her second pregnancy, she also took fertility medication. She says, “I get it, it’s high stakes but at the same time you want to protect your pregnancy and it’s the best way to do that.”
According to the latest research, there are no signs that it would reject the baby or the placenta. “It’s not biologically possible, it doesn’t make much sense. We haven’t seen miscarriages in women who got the vaccine, so if that was the case we’d see miscarriages in the first trimester.”
And Dr. Adami has a very simple way of explaining why that’s the case.
She says – the vaccine gives your body the blueprint on how to create spike proteins. Then your body creates those proteins and after 10 days the vaccine actually leaves your body. So it teaches your body a lesson, your body learns the lesson, then it leaves. Leaving you with more ability to fight off COVID-19.
Dr. Adami says, “it’s incredible, it’s amazing technology. We’re so lucky it happened at a time we had such good research and data and genetics that we were able to come up with the vaccine so quickly.”
Of course, she points out, pregnant mothers could get a fever, flu-like symptoms, a sore arm, and some of the other vaccine side effects we've been reporting. But according to many medical professionals, they have seen first-hand that getting COVID-19 puts a mother and her baby at far more risk than the vaccine.
WATCH: Pregnant doctor and Scripps research scientist shares her COVID-19 vaccine experience