Coronavirus Chronicles — COVID-19 and Pregnant People

In June, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance to American employers confirming that they can require both existing workers and new hires to be vaccinated against COVID-19. At the same time, employers must comply with provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But, says journalist Elizabeth Nolan Brown,

In some circumstances, Title VII and the ADA require an employer to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who, because of a disability or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance, do not get vaccinated for COVID-19 [… ] ncluding pregnancy-related conditions that constitute a disability.

What do medical authorities say? In August, Israel approved booster shots for people over 40 and pregnant women over 18. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control, having found that there is no increased risk of miscarriage, recommended vaccination for pregnant women, and for women trying to conceive, and also for breastfeeding mothers.

Journalist Katie Kerwin McCrimmon interviewed family medicine practitioner Dr. Molly Hoss, who has delivered hundreds of babies, and learned that concern is natural because pregnant women are more likely to have a severe case of COVID-19, and the disease also makes preterm birth more likely. Dr. Hoss firmly believes in vaccination for all. Vaccination is not only safe for mother and child, but antibodies are passed along through breastfeeding.

Backing up a step

The specter of infertility has spooked a lot of people, but the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that such fears are not supported by scientific evidence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention position is,

There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause female or male fertility problems or problems getting pregnant.

Their experts have confirmed that in men, being vaccinated does not influence sperm counts, and scientists have “tested ovarian reserves and function before and after the vaccine and they also showed no difference.”

In September, another study, published by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, confirmed that “Pregnant women who get mRNA vaccines pass high levels of antibodies to their babies.” Further studies are underway to determine how long into a baby’s life this advantage lasts.

Sadly, according to the CDC’s September numbers, among pregnant women ages 18 to 49, only 30% have been vaccinated. Study co-author Dr. Ashley Roman told reporter Anushree Dave, “Right now we’re recommending all pregnant women receive the vaccine for maternal benefit.”

Professor Linda Eckert, who teaches obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington, says research is finding “very encouraging levels of antibody in cord blood,” referring to the umbilical cord through which a fetus receives nourishment. She says,

This is another reason pregnant women should get vaccinated, as we are seeing more disease in younger infants and this is a proactive choice pregnant individuals can make to protect their infants.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Employers Can Require Workers To Get COVID-19 Vaccine, Says EEOC,” Reason.com, 06/03/21
Source: “In world first, Health Ministry approves COVID boosters to all Israelis over 40,” TimesOfIsrael.com, 08/20/21
Source: “Infertility and COVID-19 vaccines: Get the facts,” UCHealth.org, 08/10/21
Source: “Vaccinated Pregnant Women Pass Protection to Babies in Study,” Bloomberg.com, 09/22/21
Image by Julita B.C./CC BY-SA 2.0

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

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The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:

Presentations

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

Food & Health Resources