After the deadliest month of the pandemic yet for pregnant people, Dr. Manisha Gandhi told CNBC that she is not optimistic about Covid-19 this winter.
“Coping with this surge and caring for really sick women has really taken its toll,” said Gandhi, director of maternal fetal medicine at Texas Children’s Hospital. “I’m still really scared that this is just another break before another possible climb.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday issued an urgent message to pregnant women to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. The agency reported that at least 22,000 pregnant women with Covid have been hospitalized and more than 160 have died, including 22 in August.
Gandhi, who has treated pregnant women with Covid, told “The News with Shepard Smith” that not only mothers with Covid are “sicker”, but also newborns are affected.
“We also have to give birth prematurely, so they have to deal with complications themselves, but then we have to give birth to their baby to improve their health, and that means that the baby has to go to its own intensive care unit,” explains Gandhi.
According to CDC data, less than a third of all pregnant women in the US are fully vaccinated and nearly 97% of pregnant women hospitalized with Covid-19 in 2021 have so far been unvaccinated.
Gandhi told host Shepard Smith that the CDC’s data over nine months should reassure pregnant women that the vaccine is safe.
“This should really help women that this is a safe vaccine and that they can really be sure that nothing, any side effects are to be expected,” said the obstetrician / gynecologist.
Gandhi added, “For people who are worried about putting things inside their bodies, once you get Covid and get really sick, I have to give a lot more drugs that have a lot less safety data than this vaccine.”