High-risk pregnant, breastfeeding women should get COVID-19 vaccine: OMA
Christal Bryan, left, who is 32 weeks pregnant, receives care from midwife Catherine Cameron at the Humber River Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, December 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, January 5, 2021 5:39PM EST
OTTAWA - The head of the Ontario Medical Association says the risk COVID-19 poses to pregnant and breastfeeding women is higher than the risk of taking a vaccine against the virus that causes it.
Dr. Samantha Hill, a cardiac surgeon in Toronto, says because pregnant and breastfeeding women haven't been included in clinical trials yet she is worried the message many pregnant women are getting is to not get vaccinated.
She echoes concerns raised last month by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, and reiterated in a statement from the Ontario Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Tuesday.
All say women who are pregnant or breastfeeding might be at higher risk of serious illness if they get COVID-19 and that particularly for women at high risk of exposure to the virus, the risks of not getting the vaccine outweigh the unknown risks of getting vaccinated.
Hill says she is still breastfeeding her youngest child and won't hesitate to get a vaccine when her turn comes, and also would get the vaccine if she were pregnant.
She says pregnancy already puts stress on the body's immune system and vascular system, and COVID-19 could pose great risk to a pregnant woman or her fetus.