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Healthcare coverage from WYPR is made possible by support from GBMC HealthCare.

Pregnant And Getting Vaccinated? Here’s What To Expect If You’re Expecting


As an expectant mother due in May, Jessica Rudzinski understands why pregnant women may be nervous about the COVID-19 vaccine.

But for Rudzinski, getting her shot was a smooth experience.

“I felt that kind of dull soreness in the top of my shoulder very similar to what I've experienced with the flu shot. And that was it,” she said.

Her doctor, Amy Banulis, an OBGYN at Kaiser Permanente, says it’s especially important for pregnant women to get the vaccine.

“They have a higher risk than non pregnant women to be hospitalized to be admitted to intensive care units to receive mechanical ventilation, and they even have a higher chance of dying,” Banulis said.

Banulis said there is no evidence that the vaccine is unsafe for pregnant patients. She also cited recent studies showing that after getting vaccinated while pregnant, a mother can pass on immunity to her newborn.

“We already knew that pregnant women who recovered from COVID-19 could pass those antibodies to their babies,” she said. “But now we have evidence that the vaccine induced antibodies may reach or can reach their baby through the umbilical cord blood, and also through breast milk.”

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.