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Answering your COVID questions: 'Is it safe to get a vaccine if I'm expecting?'

HCPH director says vaccine can benefit mother and child
CDC: Most pregnancy-related deaths avoidable, could come up to year after labor
Posted at 7:03 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 20:20:03-05

Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot if you're expecting? One WCPO viewer, a mom-to-be who asked not to be named, wonders if getting the vaccine could have an effect on her or her child's health.

We posed her question to Dr. Steve Feagins, the medical director of Hamilton County Public Health and chief clinical officer at Mercy Health. He says it’s absolutely safe to get a vaccine when you’re expecting, especially since the alternative is possibly contracting coronavirus while pregnant.

“Most viruses can be much more serious in pregnancy than not,” he explained. “So that's why we really focus on vaccinations. This virus is no different.”

Feagins said medical experts have seen a rise in respiratory failure in pregnant women and an increase in premature births when the mother has coronavirus. Plus, Feagins said, expectant mothers who receive a vaccine could pass along its protection to their child.

“There is some evidence that antibody response protective to mom is protective to fetus. That is a good thing,” he said.

Feagins added that there is no evidence at this time that a vaccine has adverse effects on unborn children.

“It's safer to get the vaccine when you're pregnant than it is to get COVID,” Feagins said. “The Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology has a statement to that effect, and so while there is not a lot known, there is an increasing amount known.”

For an in-depth look at vaccinations and pregnancy, WCPO 9’s Ally Kraemer will have the full report on Good Morning Tri-State on Friday.

This month, WCPO 9 is taking your questions about COVID-19 vaccines and posing them to local health care experts. Email newsdesk@wcpo.com or message @KristynHartmanWCPO on Facebook with your name, neighborhood and question, and you could see an expert answer it on air.

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Senior Reporter Larry Seward is focusing his reporting on the COVID-19 vaccine to bring you answers and information. Contact Larry at 513-667-4804 or larry.seward@wcpo.com.