Pregnancy and Vaccination from Dr. Logan Kracht
Dr. Logan Kracht answers your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy. Is it safe? Should you get it? Listen in to learn more.
With the COVID-19 Delta variant becoming a concern for many people, especially our expecting mothers, Dr. Logan Kracht, with Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists, wants to assure the community that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for soon-to-be moms.
“The major medical groups like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine all recommend that anyone who's eligible for the vaccine get the vaccine. This includes pregnant and lactating mothers,” he said. “There's some concern out there because this particular vaccine is so new and it makes sense to have worry, especially for someone who is pregnant.”
Dr. Kracht said he and his team are always encouraging people to watch what they're putting into their bodies, which includes medications. So, when it comes to the COVID vaccine, they encourage people to get it because it is proven to be so good at preventing what could be much worse.
“What I mean by much worse is the actual coronavirus infection,” Dr. Kracht said. “Women who are pregnant who get the actual virus are getting sicker than the normal population, so there is an increased risk of an ICU admission, being intubated, being hospitalized and even death if you're delaying vaccination. Obviously, it boils down to how likely you are to get the virus in that time where you delay. We know that if you use the proper precautions like washing your hands, wearing a mask especially around those that are not vaccinated and practice social distancing, these are good ways to avoid the coronavirus.
He said no matter what, it is a personal decision. Dr. Kracht wants to be clear that this comparison is between a theoretical risk, versus the risk of delaying the vaccination to a later date or perhaps not getting the vaccination at all.
“For me personally, I think getting the coronavirus vaccine is the best way to prevent it,” he said. “In addition to all the other precautions that we're taking, another reason the COVID vaccine is good in pregnancy is the information that shows women who have been infected with COVID and had the vaccination have had maternal antibodies that actually cross the placenta and can get to their baby. Theoretically, this would add for more protection against the coronavirus.”
Dr. Kracht said it has been found that women who get vaccinated earlier in pregnancy actually have higher levels of antibodies that cross the placenta. This could add more protection.
“We believe it's very safe to have the vaccine if you're a lactating mother,” he said. There's been no indication that anything contained within the components of a vaccine would cause any harm as it crosses into mother's milk. Some patients have been concerned about the effects of the vaccination on fertility and, to date, there has been no scientific evidence that this should be a worry at all.”
He said the only patients that he recommends don't get the vaccine are those who have been found to have an allergy to any of the ingredients or are found to have a severe reaction to the vaccine. Other than these two aspects, Dr. Kracht said pretty much everybody that walks in the door who is eligible for a vaccination, he will recommend to get it.
“To me, it's a choice of getting the actual virus which is wildly unpredictable and you do not know how bad it can be, versus this vaccine, which through a lot of clinical trials and observational studies has been found to be safe,” he said. “As long as that's the case and it is proven safe, it is not a hard decision for me on what I would recommend.”