“When it comes to pregnancy and vaccinations, the data is clear,” according to Virginia Tech epidemiologist, Dr. Rachel Silverman.  “We’ve seen an increase in COVID complications, especially among unvaccinated pregnant women. Recent hospitalization data indicated that 97% of pregnant people who are hospitalized with confirmed COVID infections were not vaccinated.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a call for “urgent action” to increase coronavirus vaccinations among people who are pregnant.

“We know that the risks of COVID 19 infections are very well documented.  We’ve had that data for quite a while.  Those who are pregnant have a much higher risk for severe illness, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, along with pregnancy complications like premature birth, Preeclampsia, and stillbirth,” she said.  “These complications are more likely among those who are infected than those who are not infected.”

Silverman is a research scientist in epidemiology in the Virginia Tech Center for Public Health Practice and Research housed in the Department of Population Health Sciences in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech.  Her research includes infectious disease and maternal and reproductive health.

Silverman is currently expecting her second child, was vaccinated with Pfizer prior to becoming pregnant, and plans to get the booster once she is eligible.

“I’ll definitely be getting the booster, both to help protect me – make sure that I’m still protected, and to boost those maternal antibodies for my child, so when they are born, they have those maternal antibodies to help protect them during that newborn stage as well.  I’ll probably get my flu shot at the same time.”

“I totally understand, it’s a very stressful period when you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant. But there is really no plausible biological mechanism that these vaccines could cause any of those issues. We have really good data that the vaccines really are safe and effective and that people are able to get pregnant and have health pregnancies. And those risks with infections are really serious We need to balance the risks of the vaccines, which are extremely low, with those risks of getting infected during that vulnerable time, when you are at higher risks for these complications.”

Silverman Bio

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To schedule an interview with Dr. Rachel Silverman, contact Bill Foy by email, or by phone at 540-998-0288.

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