COLUMBUS (WCMH) — With new questions arising daily, it’s one of the growing topics surrounding the pandemic: Should pregnant women get the vaccine?
While expecting mothers weren’t included in Pfizer’s or Moderna’s trials, experts are weighing in on how safe it is.
For one Columbus woman, the threat of the pandemic has been an at-times overwhelming feeling during her pregnancy.
“It’s a scary thing to think about leaving your family behind at the age of 35,” admits Leah Jahahn, a mother of two.
COVID-19 has changed things for many couples — including the way future fathers attend doctor’s appointments.
“You know we FaceTimed for the second ultrasound, but definitely not the same,” Jahahn jokes.
What’s now weighing heavy for expecting mothers is a difficult decision about getting the vaccine.
“Most of the things, you know, that you worry about early on going wrong in pregnancy, or you know miscarriage, I was past that point,” Jahahn says.
Jahahn and her husband Andrew are expecting their third child next month.
As a pharmacist, Jahan originally planned to wait until after she gave birth to get her vaccine– but the evolution of the virus provoked a change of heart.
“With the new variants that have come out, that started to worry me more,” feared Jahahn.
She ultimately opted in favor of the vaccine and received her first dose last Friday.
And now, medical experts are growing unified in their message to women who are pregnant.
“You know I do think it’s important for them to get the vaccination. At least the ones that are at higher risk,” promotes Dr. Stu Jones from OhioHealth.
Dr. Jones warns that results have shown expecting mothers, like Jahahn, face greater risks if they contract the virus.
“We’ve seen more ICU admissions in these patients, more severity of the disease and the symptoms they have. We’ve also seen a greater risk with the pregnancy themselves,” says Dr. Jones.
Receiving the vaccine is also showing benefits in the baby after birth.
“We’re seeing antibody transfer to them, so they’re being born with antibodies,” adds Dr. Jones.
That new science was one of the motivating factors for Jahahn.
But doctors say not every pregnant woman should get vaccinated — it’s a discussion for each woman to have with their doctor.
For Jahahn, the reward outweighed the risk.
“I can’t say that every pregnant person should get the vaccine, but for me and my situation I felt it was something that I thought was the best decision to make,” Jahahn says. “You know, it’s like you have a shield now. Just having that protection is re-assuring.”
Dr. Jones says 15,000 pregnant women are registered through V-Safe, an app that tracks vaccine reactions and side effects. According to Dr. Jones, none of those pregnancies have had any adverse reactions to the vaccine.