LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines continues across the Commonwealth, some expectant moms are raising concerns and apprehension about being vaccinated.

What You Need To Know

  • Expectant moms raise concerns about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

  • Dr. Edward Miller explains the increased risk of contracting COVID-19 for pregnant women

  • Neither Pfizer nor Moderna's vaccines included pregnant women in the clinical trials

  • Miller urges everybody eligible to receive the vaccine

Dr. Edward Miller, division director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Louisville Health System, told Spectrum News 1, “For us in the field of obstetrics, we have two patients. We have the mom and her baby, so there’s double concern I think from moms and families about whether or not to take this vaccine during pregnancy and even after.”

Miller says many of his patients have posed the question about whether they should consider receiving the vaccine once it’s their turn.

“There’s questions on if there’s going to be an increased risk of birth defects, if it’s going to cause complications in their pregnancy, and things like that. We’re definitely hearing a lot of anxiety and trying to alleviate that as well as we can,” explained Miller.

Health experts say the risks of contracting COVID-19 while pregnant are far worse than the risks associated with the vaccine.

“They have an increased risk of having more severe COVID[-19], an increased risk of having to be on a ventilator, being in the ICU, even a slightly increased risk of dying as a result of COVID[-19],” said Miller.

Neither Pfizer nor Moderna’s vaccines included expectant mothers in their clinical trials. 

“Unfortunately, pregnant women are commonly left out a lot of research that involves vaccines because of concerns of safety not just for the mom but for their developing baby,” added Miller. 

The doctor also noted that everybody eligible to get the immunization should take their doses.

“Our department, the response has been pretty unanimous that we are firmly behind this vaccine and firmly advocating for our patients to be able to receive this vaccination,” said Miller.

Miller received the vaccine himself.

“I took the first opportunity I had, yes. I received my first dose of vaccine in order to get my second dose shortly," said Miller.

Health professionals say it’s important for expectant moms to ask questions and speak with their health care provider if they’re unsure. 

“We should tell all of our patients that obviously this is a patient centered discussion. Our job is to support you and give you all the information that you need to make the best well informed decision for you and your developing family,” explained Miller.