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Genesis recommends pregnant and breastfeeding moms get COVID vaccine

OB/GYNs say they base their advice on evidence and personal experience.

MOLINE, Illinois — OB/GYNS like Dr. Clare Harney at Genesis Medical Center are recommending pregnant patients get the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Harney says it's the same advice she already gives for patients when it comes to the flu shot and the whooping cough vaccine. 

"At Genesis, we believe that we are in this together," explained Dr. Harney. "We not only recommend it based on the evidence we've seen in our expertise and also our personal experience."

Dr. Harney says her colleagues are taking the vaccine and also feel a responsibility to help with more follow-up research.  

"I have two colleagues that are donating breast milk, and it's going to be studied at different intervals after the vaccine to find out what the antibody loads are," Dr. Harney said. "We are hoping to find out that those antibodies are helping to protect the babies."

While the vaccine trials haven't included pregnant patients, Dr. Harney says she is comfortable with the medical process that takes place and the way things are approved in medicine. Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine includes any live virus or any ingredients known to be harmful to pregnant women or babies. 

On the flip side, COVID-19 is known to be more dangerous for pregnant women. A pregnant mother is 70% more likely to be admitted die from the virus and 5x more likely to be admitted into intensive care or put on a ventilator. 

"When you think about that effect on the baby, that's known," she explained. That's something that there is plenty of evidence to show it's true."

Denise's full interview with Dr. Harney included more questions about infertility, breastfeeding and when pregnant women will be eligible to get the vaccine. 

Click the play button below to listen to the interview in Ep. 65 of the podcast "On A Mother Level", or download the episode on your favorite podcast app.

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