OBGYN who got a COVID shot while pregnant urges others to do the same

(Source: KLKN)

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — An OBGYN at CHI Health is using her own experience to reassure pregnant women about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Traci Lynn Hirai gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Enzo, on Oct. 8, less than two weeks after receiving her booster shot.

She got her first shot in December 2020 and her second in January 2021, then became pregnant the next month.

Hirai said in a press conference on Tuesday that her experience lines up with studies showing that COVID-19 vaccines do not affect fertility.

She reported minimal side effects: a sore arm after the first shot and fever and chills after the second.

Hirai said that without the vaccine, pregnant women are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19.

Dr. David Quimby, an infectious diseases physician at CHI Health, said getting COVID-19 while pregnant raises the chances of having a small baby or a stillbirth.

He said he has had some pregnant women in the intensive care unit.

“My most recent one: The mom lived; the baby was stillborn,” he said.

Quimby said the science of how a COVID-19 infection in the mother can adversely affect a baby isn’t entirely clear.

But he said that in the case of stillbirths, it’s been found that the virus attacks the placenta, not the baby.

The vaccine can also provide some protection to the baby, Hirai said.

Researchers have found COVID-19 antibodies in the core blood around the placenta, though it’s not yet known how long they last.

Hirai said talking to her patients about her experience, as well as going over the data, helped persuade some to get vaccinated.

She said some of her patients have had COVID-19, but none have been admitted to the ICU, though she noted that isn’t the case for every provider.

Categories: News