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Doctors debunk myths about vaccination's effects on pregnancy

“Now at this point, we have a lot of good scientific data that disproves all of those myths."

NEW ORLEANS — There are myths being shared on social media that are scaring young women away from getting a COVID vaccine.

And now, with the highly contagious Delta variant circulating, there's a rise in unvaccinated young women and pregnant women severely sick in the hospitals.

So, doctors are now eagerly pushing out what the science is finding.

Doctors who specialize in pregnancy, infections, and neurosurgery at Ochsner, are fighting the myths they say are being spread on the internet and causing harm to women and babies.

“It's a daunting task to feel like there are a lot of people whose first source of information is potentially bad information if they're going to Facebook,” said Dr. Jane Martin, a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellow at Ochsner Baptist.

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“(We’re) just building up the army to essentially drown out the negativity, and the falsehoods, and the myths," said Dr. Erin Biro, an Ochsner Neurosurgeon.

They said there are now several research studies, published in reputable medical journals, that suggest that the COVID vaccine in pregnant women does not increase miscarriage, does not increase birth defects, does not increase the risk of any bad pregnancy outcomes, and does not increase infertility in women who one day want to get pregnant.

“Now, at this point, we have a lot of good scientific data that disproves all of those myths. People need to hear it loud, that the COVID vaccine does not increase your risk of infertility,” Dr. Martin said.

Yet over and over and over they hear unvaccinated young women say this:
“I'm more concerned about infertility and other issues that can come along down the road,” a young woman from California said.

The doctors said that misinformation is putting unvaccinated young women, and pregnant woman, in danger.

“With the Delta variant, we are seeing healthy, young women, women who are pregnant, who are getting very sick in the ICU,” Dr. Martin said.

Pregnant women who catch the virus though, are at higher risk for: premature delivery, needing a C-section, other pregnancy complications, and even death.

Each of the doctors who are speaking out is also a mother. Dr. Martin even got her vaccine while pregnant. She said it helps to pass protective antibodies to the baby. Each doctor has felt safe getting all of her children vaccinated.

“Your OB-GYN doctors, and your high-risk OB doctors, are begging you to please go get the vaccine because we are seeing the Delta variant in the masses in pregnant women right now,” emphasized Dr. Martin.

“Each vaccine is a victory. Each vaccine is a victory for us,” said Dr. Katherine Baumgarten, Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention at Ochsner Health.

They said it’s to keep even one young woman from dying.

Ochsner said for the last two weeks, the number of people now requesting a COVID vaccine has risen, as people try to get protection from the Delta variant.