HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Soon-to-be first-time mom Monal Thiele of Chesapeake is seven months pregnant and just got her second COVID-19 shot after talking with her doctor and doing her research.
“At first I was really hesitant, especially when I was in my first and second trimester,” Thiele said. “Of course, we are seeing the Delta variant everywhere and I couldn't be more happy that I got the vaccine.”
The spread of the highly contagious Delta variant is one reason why the CDC is now urging all pregnant women to get the vaccine.
Wednesday, the CDC said new data from a study shows of the nearly 2500 expectant mothers who got the COVID-19 vaccine, there was no increased risk of miscarriage.
The news came as a relief to Thiele.
“I was really nervous, so I kind of intentionally waited until the third trimester,” said Thiele. “That way, I felt that the baby was definitely more so developed than earlier on in the pregnancy.”
Board certified OBGYN and VDH Community Health Services Medical Director Dr. Sulola Adekoya said getting vaccines like the flu shot during pregnancy is nothing new.
She’s not surprised by the CDC’s updated guidance and said previous research found there was no safety concern of getting vaccinated from the virus during any point of pregnancy.
“Women are concerned about the effect it’s going to have on the baby and how does that affect the pregnancy, but when you really think of COVID infection and the Delta variant that we really have now, the virulence of the Delta variant and the fact that you when you're pregnant, your immune system is suppressed,” Dr. Adekoya said. “So, this serves as a tool to reduce the severity of the infection.”
She’s hopeful more pregnant women will now feel comfortable getting the COVID vaccine, adding the benefits outweigh the risks.
“One of the benefits is it reduces hospitalization and death,” said Dr. Adekoya. “Pregnancy itself is considered a high-risk condition, so getting vaccinated really prepares you, prepares your baby.”
Dr. Adekoya said it doesn’t matter which vaccine you get.
As for Thiele, who’s due in October, being vaccinated offers peace of mind.
“I do feel really good. I just felt uncomfortable going around knowing that some people may not be vaccinated,” said Thiele. “I feel great about decision I made.”
The CDC says the vaccine is also safe and effective for women who are breastfeeding, are trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future.