FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A local doctor is backing up the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) plea urging pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“If my wife was pregnant, I would tell her to go get it without a question,” said Dr. Geoffrey Gordon, a Maternal Fetal Medicine Physician at Parkview. “She’s worth a lot more to me, healthy and alive than with COVID and in the hospital. I would do the same for my daughter.”
This plea comes as hospitals in hot spots around the U.S. see disturbing numbers of unvaccinated mothers-to-be seriously ill with the virus.
“Now that we’re into this third wave, we are seeing more moms coming into the hospital who haven’t been vaccinated or getting admitted who are going up to floors where we’re worried about them and their respiratory status,” Gordon said.
Despite expectant women running a higher risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications from the coronavirus, including potential miscarriages and stillbirths, their vaccination rates are low. According to CDC data, only about 23% of pregnant woman have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have enough data that has come in, that we can safely tell moms that you shouldn’t worry about getting the vaccine,” Gordon said. “The data has officially come out. It’s there. It’s safe.”
The physician said when patients tell him they’re unsure about the vaccine, he works to learn what the root of their concern is. He typically finds that their concerns come from misinformation spread on social media.
Gordon said a common concern is that the vaccine could hurt the baby, which he says is not true.
“We actually have data now. If you look, and this all came out of Northwestern [University] in Chicago, when they look at placentas of moms who had COVID virus, those placentas have damage to them,” said Gordon. “When you then look at moms who’ve had vaccines, without having COVID, they don’t have that type of damage.”
He added that the vaccine causing infertility and miscarriages are other common concerns. Those claims do not have any supporting data, according to Gordon. He said the only proven side effect of the shots is feeling ill for a day or two after the second dose.
Gordon also said once the vaccine is approved for children, he and his family will be the “first in line” because of how strong the data proving how safe the vaccine is.
“You can only find so much with nature, it’s going to do what it, it’s going to do with these variants. You have to protect yourself. You have to do what you can to help you and your family,” Gordon said.