Among the unvaccinated in B.C.’s ICUs are young pregnant women: health officials

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B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has a message for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and women wanting to become pregnant.

Get the COVID-19 vaccine.

In critical care units around the province right now, there are young mothers and pregnant women who are very ill, Henry said in a news conference Tuesday.

These women, about six at this time, are not vaccinated, she said, and they are battling the virus alongside others who are also not vaccinated.

Henry added there have been about 40 pregnant people admitted to ICUs over the course of the pandemic, but most have been in the past few months.

She said it is very important for everyone to get the vaccine, even pregnant or breastfeeding women, as it is a “vital step” to protect both mother and baby.

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Henry said clinical trials of the vaccine did not include pregnant people, but they know so much more now about that demographic.

All vaccines approved for use in Canada are not only safe but recommended for people who are thinking of getting pregnant, pregnant or breastfeeding, she said.

“Research has shown no increased risk of complications from getting the vaccine for pregnant women and for babies and breastfeeding children.”

In late May, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization release guidance saying COVID-19 vaccines are safe for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or immunosuppressed.

The BC Centre for Disease Control has more information on its website.

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A recent study out of the U.S. followed 90,000 pregnant women who have been vaccinated, Henry said. No major side effects have been identified, and pregnant people who contracted COVID have had the same symptoms as others when they are vaccinated, she added.

“It is highly recommended that pregnant women get their vaccine as soon as possible.”

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