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COVID-19: Hospitals urge pregnant individuals to get vaccinated amid rise of infant admissions – Kingston

Kendra Vice is in her third trimester and just weeks away from welcoming her first child with her partner, and she finds news of the uptick in hospital admissions of infants with COVID-19 worrisome.

“This is the first time I’ve been a little bit extra nervous just because of the high number of cases,” Vice says.

Since the middle of December, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and McMaster Children’s Hospital have admitted a total of six babies under the age of 12 months with a COVID-19 infection.

At CHEO, the mothers of all the admitted infants had not been vaccinated.

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Pediatric infectious diseases physician, Dr. Kirk Leifso, says vaccinating pregnant women isn’t a new concept and is the best way to protect both mom and baby from serious complications.

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“This works for influenza and another common respiratory tract infection that severely affects infants more than older people called pertussis,” says Dr. Leifso. “We advocate for immunization against influenza and pertussis for exactly the same reasons as now we advocate for vaccination against COVID in pregnant moms.”

Doctors at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) say pregnant individuals are considered a high-risk population for COVID-19 complications, and getting vaccinated not only protects mom but her baby as well.

“The antibodies that we produce when we get a vaccine, one is called IgG, and that crosses the placenta and there is potentially protection for the baby for up to six months,” says Dr. Graeme Smith.

“Similarly, there is an increase in IgA, which is the antibody that is in breastmilk. So that provides protection for babies at the level of the mouth and the throat.”

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According to these doctors, there is no evidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes from the COVID-19 vaccine.

It is recommended that those who are hesitant to get vaccinated discuss it with their health-care provider.

As for Vice, she’s fully vaccinated, has cancelled her baby shower and says she’ll be restrictive when the baby comes.

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Most importantly, though, she’s excited to welcome her new little one to the world — COVID or not.

“The time that I have to go is less and less and less, it’s definitely exciting and it’s going to be an adventure for sure.”





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