On the heels of the deadliest month of the pandemic for pregnant people yet, Dr. Manisha Gandhi told CNBC that she’s not optimistic about Covid-19 this winter.
“To be dealing with this surge and taking care of really sick women, has just really taken a toll,” said Gandhi, who is chief of maternal-fetal medicine at Texas Children’s hospital. “I’m still really afraid this is just another lull before another potential surge.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an urgent message to pregnant women on Wednesday to get a Covid-19 vaccine. The agency reported that at least 22,000 pregnant women have been hospitalized with Covid, 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 are the mothers with Covid “sicker,” but that it’s also impacting the newborn children.
“We’re also having to deliver them prematurely, so they themselves are dealing with complications, but then we have to deliver their baby to improve their health, and that results in the baby having to go to their own intensive care unit,” explained Gandhi.
Fewer than one-third of all pregnant women in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data, and nearly 97% of the pregnant women who have been hospitalized with Covid-19 in 2021, so far, have been unvaccinated.
Gandhi told host Shepard Smith that over nine months of data from the CDC should reassure pregnant women that the vaccine is safe.
“This should really help support women, that this is a safe vaccine and they really can be sure that there’s nothing being, any kind of adverse events to be expected,” said the obstetrician/gynecologist.
Gandhi added, “to people who worry about putting things in their body, once you get Covid and you’re getting really sick, I have to give a lot more medications that have a lot less safety data than this vaccine.”