COVID-19: Alberta telephone town hall to address vaccine questions around fertility and pregnancy


A telephone town hall will be held next week to answer questions from and provide information to anyone who is pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant and is hesitant about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

During Thursday’s COVID-19 update, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said she is still hearing questions about whether vaccines impact fertility or are safe for pregnant women.

“As I’ve said before, there is no evidence suggesting that these vaccines impact fertility in any way,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw stressed. “Studies done on both male and female fertility outcomes after vaccine have shown no negative consequences.

“Vaccines are also recommended for anyone who is pregnant or nursing, as the risk of severe outcomes of COVID infection in pregnant women has increased with variants of concern.”

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Hinshaw said data from thousands of pregnant women who have received the COVID-19 vaccine has not shown any increased risk in pregnancy.

The province’s top doctor also said there continues to be misinformation about vaccines spreading on social media that they’re working hard to address.

In hopes of quashing some of the misinformation, Hinshaw and Dr. Eliana Castillo, clinical associate professor with the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary will hold a telephone town hall this Wednesday to answer questions on vaccines, fertility and maternal health.

“This town hall will be open to anyone who is interested in this topic,” she said. “It’s free for anyone who wants to call in and ask a question about the issue.”

Read more:
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During the fourth wave of COVID-19, Alberta has seen an increase in the number of pregnant people ending up in ICU. Since mid-July, there have been more pregnant people admitted to intensive care than in the entire first year of the pandemic, according to Alberta Health.

Both the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization have said that COVID-19 vaccines are safe for those who are pregnant and those who are breastfeeding. Both bodies recommend COVID-19 vaccine for all pregnant, breastfeeding and planning-to-become pregnant women.

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COVID-19 vaccines safe while pregnant, breastfeeding or immunosuppressed: NACI

This isn’t the first time medical professionals have stressed that vaccines are safe for pregnant women.

Two weeks ago, Global News spoke with an obstetrician who said a growing number of unvaccinated pregnant woman are ending up in hospital with severe cases of COVID-19.

“I have had talks with my patients and say: ‘You’re getting sicker, if you go to ICU and on a ventilator, you will be asleep and while you sleep, we may have to deliver the baby and we will take videos and photos and do all we can but when you wake up you may not be able to see your baby,” Calgary obstetrician Dr. Stephanie Cooper said at the time.

“Having that conversation with a woman while she’s gasping for breath is awful and they are terrified.

“This is unprecedented, alarming and frightening, especially for the mom alone without support of family members around.”

Read more:
Alberta obstetricians worried about babies being born to unconscious unvaccinated moms

When speaking to Global News on Oct. 8, obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Colin Birch said since August, there have been 16 pregnant women admitted to hospital with COVID-19 symptoms. Every pregnant patient admitted to ICU in Calgary was unvaccinated, Birch said.

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Click to play video: 'Alberta babies being born to unconscious unvaccinated moms worrying Calgary obstetricians'

Alberta babies being born to unconscious unvaccinated moms worrying Calgary obstetricians

Alberta babies being born to unconscious unvaccinated moms worrying Calgary obstetricians – Oct 8, 2021

Alberta Health has more information on its website about vaccination during pregnancy.

Vaccine appointments can be made online.

The telephone town hall runs from 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27. More information on how to pre-register can be found on the province’s website.

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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