“Pregnant Women Should Fear COVID, Not Vaccines,” Israeli Senior MD Says

Illustrative. Sheba Hospital

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“Pregnant women should fear the coronavirus rather than vaccines,” Dr. Rachel Picar, a specialist in obstetrics and senior doctor in Hadassah Ein Kerem, told Kikar H’Shabbos.

Dr. Picar added that as is well-known, the coronavirus vaccine is based on mRNA technology, which does not introduce a weakened form of the virus, or any virus at all into the body. Once the active ingredient in the vaccine spurs the production of antibodies, it disappears altogether from the body and therefore pregnant women should not fear being vaccinated.

“We’re now seeing [due to the British variant] very serious morbidity among pregnant women, especially in the last trimester, which is accompanied by serious breathing difficulties which deteriorates very quickly to ventilation being required,” Dr. Picar said.

Israel’s Health Ministry on Monday updated its previous recommendations regarding pregnant women only being vaccinated after the 15th week of pregnancy. It now is recommending that pregnant women get vaccinated even during the first trimester since the potential danger of becoming ill from the coronavirus during that time outweighs any potential risks of the vaccine.

The new British variant has led to numerous pregnant women in Israel becoming seriously ill after contracting the coronavirus, with several of them becoming critically ill. Two of the women were attached to ECMO machines last week.

Rumors that coronavirus vaccines can cause fertility issues have spread on social media but ironically, the coronavirus itself has been linked to fertility issues, with a new study by German researchers published on Friday in the Reproduction journal saying that the coronavirus can reduce fertility in men.

However, medical experts not involved in the study warned against undue alarm, pointing out several weak points of the study and stating that more research was needed before any final conclusions can be drawn about the effect of the coronavirus on male fertility.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)