“I viewed getting the vaccine the same way I view taking my prenatal vitamins, forcing down a few more salads that I might normally eat, and getting enough sleep. All of these things will help my baby grow and reduce the risks that come with pregnancy. Do this for your own health, your baby’s health, and public health.”
The current social climate has left many feeling conflicted when making decisions about their personal health and the health and safety of their families. Julie is among countless other mothers who have had to make serious choices regarding their family’s health over the past year, and she says she understands the scariness, confusion, and fatigue that the pandemic has brought upon parents. Being 26 weeks pregnant with her second child, she had to ask herself – should I get the vaccine? And after much consideration, her answer became yes.
To inform her decision, Julie had conversations with and gained insight from professionals, friends, and family. She consulted with those close to her who she knew had connections or experience in the medical field or public health. She also took guidance from the CDC, ODH, WHO, and organizations specific to the obstetrics and gynecological specialties and followed reliable news sources to “monitor how the narrative surrounding pregnancy and COVID developed over the past 12 months.”
Through the information Julie gathered on the subject, she concluded, “There is no data to support saying that the vaccine is unsafe for pregnant women, but there absolutely is data to say that the risk of severe complications is greater among pregnant women compared to those who are not pregnant.” Julie has witnessed the effects of the virus – those with severe symptoms, those who have been hospitalized, those who have died, and those who have had lingering symptoms afterward – and she was concerned that if she did contract the virus, it would greatly affect her ability to care for her family. She states, “There’s no question that some degree of risk was involved because pregnant women were not part of the clinical trials, but I made a calculated decision that the risks associated with contracting the virus were far greater than any risks associated with getting the vaccine.”
Being a lawyer, Julie approached the subject of getting the vaccine in a deliberate, analytical way, and she feels confident in her decision. She has gained valuable awareness of the impact the vaccine will have, including providing antibodies to both her and her baby. The main ideas she takes away from her research are the vaccine was not rushed, it is not a new design, it does not have scary ingredients, and the risks of complications from the virus are so much worse. She reports, “It’s why the State of Ohio made pregnant women eligible for vaccination as early as they did.”
Julie is excited to be a pregnant, vaccinated mother, and she hopes to share what she has learned through this process with others.