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Doctors call on pregnant people to get vaccinated

Last Updated Sep 7, 2021 at 8:54 pm MDT

CALGARY — With the fourth wave of COVID-19 upon us — one Calgary obstetrician is calling on all pregnant people to get vaccinated.

Across Alberta during the pandemic, Dr. Stephanie Cooper says roughly 18 pregnant or postpartum people with COVID have been admitted to the ICU.

“Before COVID – outside of hemorrhage — someone being admitted to the ICU in pregnancy was very unusual,” said Cooper.

She says treating COVID in a pregnant person is incredibly complex.

“We also have to think that there’s a baby there. So, we have to think ‘What are these medications that the baby will get? How does a position need to help a mom breathe better, how will that potentially affect a baby?’”


Data out of the University of B.C. shows not only an increase in risk for adverse outcomes for COVID during pregnancy – it shows an increased frequency of pre-term births.

“Depending on how early that is, that can mean significant long term health consequences for a baby,” said Cooper.

At the start of the pandemic, Cooper says most physicians were suggesting the vaccine to pregnant people and were supportive to those who chose not to.

“A lot of us have moved to say we’re not discussing it, we’re recommending it. This has been definitely supported by major pregnancy organizations around the world because more data is coming out that there is no increased risk of complications for babies whose moms have had COVID vaccine.”