Deaconess Health officials encourage pregnant women to consider COVID-19 vaccine after seeing surge in complications


EVANSVILLE, INDIANA (WEHT)— Dr. David Ryon, medical care director at the women’s hospital at Deconess Midway’s clinic, said pregnant women fall under a more vulnerable population when it comes to COVID-19.

“Pregnancy does put constraints on your immune system to fight infection in a way that now makes some things similar to an older person coming down with COVID,” Dr. Ryon said.

Dr. Ryon and Dr. Brennan Fitzpatrick, chief medical officer at the women’s hospital, have noticed a new trend among pregnant women who contract the virus.

“What we’ve seen over the last ten days is that patients that are coming in that are sicker. They’ve required ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, so from that perspective it was a significant concern,” Dr. Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick said other variants of the virus are seen in the tristate area- but they aren’t sure if that’s entirely the reasoning behind this new trend. He did tell Eyewitness News that they are noticing vaccination rates are down among these age groups where pregnancy is common. They say this could be due to misinformation on the vaccines and how it impacts pregnancies.

“In the registry data that we’re seeing suggests that the vaccine is safe and when you compare that to the potential risks we see in pregnancy we think there is no question that patients who are pregnant should absolutely be considering it,” Dr. Fitzpatrick said.

Because it has been proven to provide health benefits to women and their unborn child.

“It’s highly efficacious in terms of reducing the risk of severe disease for all patients that receive it. One of the questions that comes up is how does it impact the baby? There is no evidence that suggests it’s associated with birth defects,” Dr. Fitzpatrick said.

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