COVID-19 Updates: Taking steps to return to normal.
There have been many questions from expectant parents, or Albertans who wish to become pregnant, about COVID-19 and what it, and the vaccines, mean for pregnant Albertans and their babies. Others are concerned about how the virus and the vaccines may affect fertility. These are important questions and concerns and so I invited Albertans to participate in a discussion about this.
Telephone town hall
On October 27, 2021, Dr. Eliana Castillo, Clinical Associate Professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Dr. Verena Kuret, Clinical Assistant Professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary and I held a telephone town hall to answer questions about vaccines, fertility and maternal health.
Thank you to everyone who participated. The audio recording of our discussion is below.
There is no current evidence suggesting that these vaccines impact fertility in any way, as studies done on both male and female fertility outcomes after vaccine have shown no negative consequences.
Both the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization have stated that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe for individuals who are pregnant and those who are breastfeeding.
Vaccine safety is a critical issue in pregnancy, and data from thousands of pregnant individuals who have received vaccine has not shown any increased risk.
On the other hand, becoming infected with COVID-19 carries serious risks that can have severe consequences, especially for pregnant individuals.
In this current wave of COVID-19, we saw a rise in the number of pregnant Albertans in ICU. In fact, since mid-July, there have been more pregnant people admitted to ICU in these past three months than in the entire first year of the pandemic.
Vaccines are recommended for anyone who is pregnant or nursing, as the risk of severe outcomes of COVID infection in pregnant women has increased with variants of concern.
We know parents want the best for their babies, and we’d like to answer any questions that Albertans have – whether they are planning a pregnancy, currently expecting a baby, or have recently had a baby.