Columnists

Health Dept. to host pregnancy & COVID town hall

The Hamilton County Health Department will host a town hall on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. to help answer many of the common questions expectant moms have about getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Drs. Caroline Rouse and Maria Schmoll, both maternal fetal medicine physicians at IU Health, and Dr. Evan Kreutzer, a board-certified pediatrician at Ascension Medical Group, will lead the discussion and be available to help answer questions.

“We estimate only a third of pregnant women are vaccinated against COVID,” says Dr. Rouse. “We have got to turn that number around. An unvaccinated pregnant woman who gets sick with COVID-19 has a two-fold risk of being hospitalized. Being unvaccinated also puts her at increased risk of pre-term birth or stillborn birth.”

Nearly 200 pregnant women died this year from COVID-19. Ninety percent of them were not vaccinated. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all strongly recommend expectant moms get one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines. 

“Vaccination during pregnancy is safe and protects both mom and baby,” adds Dr. Schmoll. “It’s critical every pregnant woman understands the protective benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines to keep both their babies and themselves safe.”

Drs. Rouse and Schmoll also plan to discuss concerns about miscarriage, fertility problems, and potential long-term side effects of the unborn baby. They will also spend time answering any questions participants might have.

Those interested in participating in the town hall should download Microsoft Teams to their computer and join the following link on December 8th at 6:30 p.m. https://bit.ly/3xLeSYo