Updated: Mar 24
March is Women’s History Month, it is a time to celebrate women today and historic achievements made by women in the past. It is vital to recognizing the struggles and obstacles women have faced in the past, and what women continue to face today. In healthcare, women face many obstacles. Whether it be the ability to make decisions for themselves, or accessing the care they need. An important topic to highly is the intersection of pregnancy and vaccination.
Pregnancy is a challenging time for many, as it can take a toll on mental and physical health. Therefore it is important for pregnant women and individuals to receive adequate healthcare by a qualified provider. This ensures that they are getting correct, up to date information on prenatal care. One of the many key components of prenatal care during pregnancy is vaccination. Vaccinations can help protect both the mother or individual and the developing fetus from serious illnesses and hospitalization.
There is a significant amount of misinformation that circulates social media. Often times leading to misconceptions and ideas about vaccination during pregnancy. Some women or individuals worry that vaccines can harm their unborn child. Others are concerned about the safety and efficacy of vaccines in general. Throughout history, women have been excluded from clinical trials and studies. This leaves us with limited information about the safety and efficacy of vaccines during pregnancy. And today, many clinical studies will exclude pregnant women or individuals due to the ethicality of research during pregnancy.
In recent years, there has been an increased effort to include women in clinical trials and studies, including those involving vaccines. These studies usually are volunteer based, such as requiring reports from those who have received vaccinations during pregnancy. This has led to a greater understanding of the safety and efficacy of vaccines during pregnancy, as well as a better understanding of the unique challenges faced by pregnant women in accessing healthcare.
We can look at the COVID-19 vaccine as an example, as the pandemic has highlighted the importance of vaccination during pregnancy. Pregnant women and individuals are at increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. Over the last few years, vaccination against COVID-19 has been shown to be safe and effective in protecting both the mother and the developing fetus from the virus. However, despite these findings, many pregnant women and individuals remain hesitant to receive the vaccine. This hesitancy is not unique to the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, hesitancy towards vaccination is a common issue with all vaccines during pregnancy.
To address this issue, qualified healthcare providers must provide accurate and up to date information about the safety and efficacy of vaccines. This means providing evidence based resources and materials to patients, often times requiring using layman's terms so patients understand the material.
As we focus on Women's History Month, it is important to highlight pregnancy and vaccination, be sure to follow us on on social media and join our meetings for up to date information on how we work to keep mothers and individuals healthy in Michigan.