Health officials used Tuesday’s (Sept. 21) pandemic press conference to plead with pregnant British Columbians to get immunized against COVID-19, saying that real world data proves that the vaccines are safe.
Provincial health officer Dr. Henry said that she has heard concerns about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people trying to conceive and those who are already pregnant or breastfeeding. Henry said that the vaccines remain “highly recommended” for pregnant individuals, who are at higher risk for complications from the virus. While clinical trials did not include pregnant people, Henry said that healthy pregnancies in vaccine recipients worldwide shows that the immunizations are safe.
“I know from the visits that I’ve made to health care facilities and our ICUs around the province that we have a number of young women pregnant, who are in ICU right now who are not vaccinated,” she said. “We have seen this happen, particularly since May, when we started to see Delta transmitting more easily. And we’ve seen the tragic outcomes of that across the province.”
Data from both Canada and internationally supports that, Henry added.
“it has shown there is no increased risk of complications after being immunized to you or to your baby,” she said, citing the 90,000 women in the U.S. who have been vaccinated and gone on to have healthy babies.
On the other hand, Canadians data looking at 1,500 pregnant individuals showed “significantly worse levels of severe disease, especially now with the Delta variant that we’re seeing, and higher rates of adverse infant outcomes, things like stillbirth and preterm birth to babies being born early.”
Henry acknowledged that people of childbearing age may have concerns and encouraged them to visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s website to get reputable information.
The vaccines, she noted, do not affect fertility.