Watertown, Fort Drum OB/GYN’s urge pregnant women to get COVID vaccine


FILE – In this Wednesday, June 9, 2021 file photo, A nurse gives a shot of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 to a pregnant woman in Montevideo, Uruguay. Two obstetricians’ groups are now recommending COVID-19 shots for all pregnant women, citing concerns over rising cases and low vaccination rates. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine said vaccinations in tens of thousands of pregnant women have shown the shots are safe and effective. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico, File)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Local health providers are encouraging pregnant women to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, Samaritan Medical Center and the Fort Drum OB/GYN clinic issued a joint statement, recommending all eligible individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This specifically addressed those who would like to get pregnant, are currently pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Both SMC Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr. John P. Barrett, MD, and the Fort Drum OB/GYN Department shared similar messages.

“As an OB/GYN in our community, I know that you, like many women, may be fearful of the unknown and about introducing the vaccine into your body while you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding,” Dr. Barrett said in a press release. “I feel compelled to step forward to reassure you that the COVID-19 vaccination is safe and highly recommended to help prevent you, your baby, and others around you from getting this virus.”

“Our department supports the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, and the Center for Disease Control recommendation that pregnant and breastfeeding women receive the COVID-19 vaccination to help prevent severe illness and death,” The Fort Drum Department added.

The Department also confirmed that it has seen severe illnesses in local pregnant women and at other Military installations.

“We also know that the current variants of the COVID-19 virus are more harmful to the pregnant woman and her unborn infant. We have seen severe illness in our local pregnant population and across the Army in seemingly healthy women,” Fort Drum OB/GYN’s said.

Dr. Barrett went on to state that unvaccinated women have greater chances of complications, which may put their children at risk.

“Data has shown that getting the COVID-19 virus puts pregnant women and their newborns at increased risk of severe complications and even death,” he said. “Pregnant women who have decided to wait until after delivery to be vaccinated may be inadvertently exposing themselves and their babies to an increased risk of severe illness or death.”

This joint statement was issued by Fort drum Regional Health Planning Organizer, SMC and Fort Drum Providers. Those with questions are urged to speak with their OB/GYN provider.

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