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Should Pregnant Women Get A Covid-19 Vaccine?

 February 9, 2021 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Tuesday, February 9th. Should expecting mothers get vaccines? We’ll have more on that next, But first... let’s do the headlines…. San Diego county health officials reported nearly 700 COVID-19 cases on monday and no new deaths. That’s the lowest single-day case count to be reported since mid-november. This, as UC San Diego Health opens a new vaccination super station on it’s campus today. A new report from the department of defense says covid-19 outbreaks on the USS Theodore Roosevelt were a result of ineffective social distancing and a premature release of sailors from quarantine . Sailors were first tested last march. The outbreaks reached more than 1200 sailors with one death as a result.. Former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer now has some competition in his campaign for California governor. Republican John Cox made his second campaign for governor official yesterday with a new TV ad attacking Faulconer and current Governor Gavin Newsom. . Cox ran against Governor Newsom in 2018. His platform largely focused on highlighting the state’s high cost of living. From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. Many San Diegans are wondering when they might be able to get a COVID vaccine. But for pregnant women, guidance over vaccines has been confusing. KPBS’ Claire Trageser reports. “You know, threw up once already today.” Pictures in Parrish folder on Google Drive It took Parrish Glass and her husband four years and thousands of dollars to conceive a baby through in vitro fertilization. Now, at long last, the Navy couple is expecting a boy in August. But since they conceived during a global pandemic, they’re facing the question of whether Glass should get a vaccine. “My OBGYN said it’s definitely OK to go ahead and get it. But for us, after this four-year journey of infertility, we’ve spent so much money and emotion, put so much physically draining time into this process, so with this one shot we have, there is a huge question of do we want to risk it.” To be clear, doctors and medical experts agree that the COVID-19 vaccines are likely safe for pregnant women. Yet, Glass still isn’t convinced. “For us, there isn’t enough data, so we’ll let other people be those guinea pigs.” The reason for the dearth of data is simple: pregnant or breastfeeding women are almost always excluded from drug trials, and the COVID-19 vaccine trials are no exception. Some medical experts say this was a mistake, especially when considering pregnant women are more at risk for serious cases. “We could have carefully and thoughtfully included them...but that ship has now sailed.” Dr. Denise Jamieson is a member of the COVID-19 expert group with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She says there are plans to do clinical trials specifically for pregnant women. “The issue is, now that the vaccine is more widely available, it’s harder to justify enrolling pregnant women in a trial.” That’s because those women might get a placebo. While no COVID-19 vaccines were purposefully tested on pregnant women, there is some data available from women who entered trials before they knew they were pregnant and from testing on animals. No significant adverse side effects were found in either case. Also, it's important to note that pregnant women are strongly recommended to receive other vaccines like the flu shot and the whooping cough vaccine. “I highly recommend it to my patients.” Dr. Joanna Adamczak specializes in high-risk pregnancies and is the chief medical officer of Sharp Mary Birch. She says refusing the vaccine is the greater risk for pregnant women. “These ladies do get more sick, they have higher rates of ICU admission, not to mention the fact that it can lead to preterm labor.” That reality is visible every day for Dr. Becky Adami, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Rady Children's Hospital, who has been treating pregnant women with COVID-19. “I’ve seen patients who were admitted to the ICU who were intubated in pregnancy, and that can be really scary, we know there’s a higher risk of mortality….00:06:24:00 Seeing those maternal effects definitely make me think it’s important to be vaccinated to protect yourself.” Adami is pregnant herself, and when the call came in mid-December offering her a COVID-19 vaccine dose, she didn’t hesitate. “I got the call that it was available and I said, I’ll come in that day and get it.” But some women who don’t work in health care and believe they aren’t at risk of contracting COVID-19 are opting to wait until after they deliver to get the vaccine. Alicia Tembi, a teacher at a private school in Encinitas, could be eligible for the vaccine soon, but says she’ll wait until after she delivers her baby in April. “I’m very pro vaccine in general, my dad had polio, so I’m definitely pro vaccine….00:03:53:15 But I’m also data driven, and there is no clinical data that it’s safe to take. That makes me pause and say what are the benefits and risks, and if no one can tell me no risks, I’m going to wait.” In fact, even after she delivers, she’s not sure she’d take the vaccine because of concerns over breastfeeding. We’ll hear more about that tomorrow. That story from KPBS investigative reporter Claire Traegeser. Coming up.... Governor Gavin Newsom was in town yesterday visiting a vaccination super station. That and more local news is up next….. Governor Newsom was in San Diego on Monday visiting the downtown vaccination superstation which is run by UC San Diego.. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman says the governor gave a shout out to San Diego for being one of the fastest counties to roll out vaccines. County by county San Diego leading the way Newsom says counties across the state are adopting the vaccination super station model, pioneered by San Diego.. Local officials say a fifth vaccination “superstation” that will be run by Scripps Health is soon coming the Del Mar Fairgrounds.. but- 26:21.499 Newsom We’re going to need to see more doses coming into the state of California in order to keep these max sites operational While Nearly 400-thousand San Diegans have gotten at least first doses, there are well over a million seniors over 65 and healthcare workers eligible for shots.. And now seniors who can’t leave their homes are able schedule appointments for vaccinators to come to them by calling 2-1-1. Matt Hoffman, KPBS News. That reporting from KPBS’ Matt Hoffman. For years sewage has flowed into the ocean near the South Bay from the Tijuana River in Mexico. Now, instead of declaring it an environmental emergency - as the county has in the past -- county leaders are considering whether to call it a public health crisis. KPBS’ Erik Anderson explains. Ongoing cross border sewage spills have led to a new tactic at the county. The county is considering a resolution declaring a public health crisis because of the persistent cross border sewage flows. Sewage tainted flows are in the 10s of millions of gallons this winter. Gabriella Torres works for the Surfrider Foundation. She wants the county to take at least two important steps. “A large scale water clean-up and hopefully a better watershed management program in the Tijuana River valley.” Federal officials have 300 million dollars set aside to build sewage treatment facilities, but that project has not yet begun. And that was KPBS Environment reporter Erik Anderson. At least nine California Highway Patrol or CHP officers who worked at the state capitol have tested positive for covid-19. The spike in cases comes after the agency stepped up officer presence at the capitol grounds for inauguration day. Capradio’s Scott Rodd says the Sacramento county department of public health is treating the situation as an outbreak. “they conduct contact tracing to determine the potential spread of the virus, and the county also helps the employer communicate outbreak information to employees such as resources for testing and other best practices to ensure that employees are staying as safe as possible.” CHP officers didn’t say if the cases have been linked to the same source. A spokesperson noted that more than ten percent of the agency’s workers have tested positive for covid-19 during the pandemic. Two weeks ago, Mexico’s president announced that he had contracted COVID-19. He reappeared on Monday in a press conference, showing no intention of changing his relaxed approach towards the pandemic. From K-J-Z-Z's Mexico City Bureau, Rodrigo Cervantes reports. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador walked into a hall with reporters without wearing a facemask, and was asked if he will ever wear one.AMLO: “No.”López Obrador said he is not contagious. He said Mexico is not an authoritarian country, and that the federal government will never impose face masks or lockdowns.AMLO: “Me cuidé, guardé mi sana distancia…”The president said he got sick despite being cautious and keeping social distance. But throughout the pandemic, he has traveled and attended meetings and massive events without doing so. Vaccination began slowly in Mexico weeks ago, prioritizing health workers. López Obrador said that, unlike other presidents, he didn’t abuse his power to get a vaccine himself. That story from KJZZ’s Rodrigo Cervantes reporting from Mexico City. As of about now, Mexico has had almost 2 million COVID-19 cases and nearly 170,000 deaths. That’s it for the podcast today. KPBS will be airing the Impeachment trial for Former President Donald Trump today. You can hear it live on KPBS 89.5 FM starting at 10am, or watch it on KPBS 2 on television. You can also catch it streaming live online at KPBS dot org, where you can also get the latest news and recaps of the day. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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Medical professionals largely agree that pregnant women should be vaccinated because if they do contract COVID-19, they have a higher risk of serious illness. But there is little data on the effect of the vaccine on unborn babies and expectant mothers- so many are hesitating. Meanwhile, Governor Gavin Newsom visited a vaccination super station in San Diego on Monday. Plus, San Diego County is poised to declare a public health crisis over the sewage flow into the Tijuana river.