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Hawaiian doctors urge pregnant women to be vaccinated against COVID-19 due to high risk

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Hawaiian doctors urge pregnant women to get vaccinated COVID-19 (New Coronavirus Infection) To protect yourself and your baby from the coronavirus.

Dr. Keith Ogasawara, a veteran obstetrician and gynecologist at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, said: “Vaccines are safe and strongly encourage pregnant women, lactating mothers, and women who are thinking of becoming pregnant to be vaccinated to protect themselves and their children.”

Although the average daily number of cases in Hawaii is declining, COVID-19 still poses a significant risk to people in this demographic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant and recently pregnant women are at increased risk of serious illness due to COVID-19. In addition, pregnant women infected with the virus are at increased risk of other adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth and stillbirth.

CDC recently published Emergency health recommendations He said the benefits outweigh the known or potential risks of the need to increase vaccination rates for pregnant and recently pregnant women. In addition, doctors advise that pregnant women are eligible for and should receive booster COVID-19 shots if at least 6 months have passed since they were completely vaccinated.

As of Monday, more than 128,000 laboratory-confirmed COVID cases were reported in pregnant women nationwide, of which more than 22,000 required hospitalization and 180 died, according to the CDC. About 97% of hospitalized patients were unvaccinated.

“Looking at the data, COVID is the leading cause of maternal death in the United States this year,” Ogasawara said. Some long-standing risks, such as postpartum bleeding and preeclampsia, are now overshadowed by the risks associated with COVID-19 infection, he said.

to date, Two maternal deaths due to COVID-19 confirmed in Hawaii During September, according to the Hawaii Maternal Mortality Review Board. In both cases, the woman became ill during pregnancy and died after giving birth to a surviving baby.

Importantly, Dr. Stacy Tsai, chairman of the state’s Maternal Mortality Review Board, said such maternal mortality is preventable. In a written statement, Tsai said vaccinated young women were less likely to die of COVID. “We also know that pregnancy increases the risk of COVID disease, ICU admission, ventilator use, and death,” she added.

A recent Delta Variant Surge Hospital has reported an increase in pregnant women hospitalized with COVID who require intensive care and give birth prematurely. Nevertheless, the national vaccination rate for pregnant women remains low. According to statistics released in early October, only about 33% of pregnant women between the ages of 18 and 49 in the United States are vaccinated, a slight increase from about 25% in August.

The Hawaii Department of Health said there was no breakdown of the number of COVID cases with pregnancy or the proportion of pregnant women vaccinated.

In August, the CDC shared new data showing that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe during pregnancy, risking miscarriage among nearly 2,500 pregnant women who received the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine 20 weeks before pregnancy. I quoted an analysis that did not increase.

Also in August, the State Health Department issued a Facebook message, advising: “We recommend that anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding, or thinking of becoming pregnant be vaccinated with COVID-19. Protect your child and yourself by being vaccinated. The increased risk of serious illnesses and pregnancy complications associated with COVID-19 infection makes vaccination more urgent than ever. “

According to Ogasawara, obstetricians who have one-on-one discussions with patients are hesitant about vaccination. “We ask them hesitate and try to redirect to reliable information,” he said, saying there is a lot of false information that spreads rapidly on social media.

Some of the false information that Heath officials have argued is that the vaccine causes infertility, that the mRNA vaccine can affect someone’s DNA, and that the vaccine itself is at risk of transmitting COVID. I have. Ogasawara pointed out that the body could initiate an immune response to the vaccine, causing side effects such as low-grade fever and malaise, but not because of COVID infection.

In addition, the American Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society of Maternal and Fetal Medicine recommend COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women.

The PATH Clinic, a women’s health clinic run by the non-profit Waikiki Health Center, also pursues one-on-one conversations with patients, according to clinic director Jack Terley. The current COVID protocol asks if a patient is vaccinated. The conversation begins from there. Mr. Terrey initially said that many patients were hesitant about the vaccine because they were afraid of the unknown.

Mr. Terrey said he shared his story about his mother’s experience when she was vaccinated, her colleagues’ experiences, and how COVID-19 affected the entire Hawaiian community. .. She also gives them proper CDC guidance. Kaimuki’s clinic focuses on sharing with compassion and empathy, providing a place for homely conversation, Terei said.

To help those in need of transportation take shots, PATH has provided a taxi ride. Also, as an incentive, the clinic recently launched a $ 50 Target gift card for vaccinated patients. “After all, that’s their choice,” Teleli said. “Our role is to provide the right information and to be able to filter what they are listening to and what makes sense. Then they make their choices.”

Last month, nonprofit Papa Ola Lokahi held a webinar on vaccination with local obstetricians Dr. Reni Soon and Dr. Ronnie Texeira, recommending pregnant women to be vaccinated with COVID-19.

Soon, during the summer, she said she saw more pregnant women using ventilators than a total of 20 years of practice. Texeira, who gave birth recently, shared that she had been vaccinated during the 16th week of pregnancy and was confident in its safety based on research.

On Tuesday, the number of new coronavirus cases reported in Hawaii fell to 49 for the first time since early July. According to the Ministry of Health dashboard, the seven-day average of daily cases across the state was 162, with an average positive rate of 2.7%. No new deaths have been reported. Almost 70% (69.6%) of Hawaii’s population is fully COVID-19 vaccinated.

Nevertheless, Ogasawara said it was important for pregnant women to be vaccinated and to remain vigilant against the ongoing threat of COVID-19. “If a mother dies of COVID, it’s a potentially preventable death and tragic,” he said. “The unspoken story is a child who grows up without a mother. It’s a tragedy.”

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