This post is sponsored by Baptist Health South Florida.
New normal became part of our collective vocabulary only a year ago as we began to navigate the myriad changes of pandemic life. Changes in the way we work, the way we school our children, the ways we socially interact… not to mention the many real and personal losses COVID has left in its wake.
Now–just over a year since the world shut down–I find myself feeling hopeful for a newer normal. Yes, aspects of our daily realities and the ways we relate are still vastly different from life pre-COVID. But as more of us are vaccinated and cases decline, I’m ready to embrace life with fewer restrictions and more in-person interactions. With that in mind, here’s the latest from Baptist Health on booster shots, breakthrough cases, and the safety of vaccines for pregnant women.
Boosters and Annual Vaccinations
Though infectious disease experts have said this for a while, news recently broke that booster shots and annual COVID vaccines will probably be necessary. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla recently stated that people will “likely” need a booster shot within 12 months of being fully vaccinated. Similarly, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel stated that “[Moderna] wants to make sure there are boost vaccines available in the fall so that we protect people as we go into the next fall and winter season in the U.S.”
Booster shots and annual vaccines could play a significant role in protecting people from the COVID variants from Brazil, South Africa, and the UK that are on the rise here in the US. But rest assured that this decision will not be made by pharmaceutical companies. As Dr. Anthony Fauci has said, “It is going to be a public health decision. It is not going to be a decision that is made by a pharmaceutical company. We’re partners with them because they’re supplying it. It’ll be an FDA and CDC decision.”
A breakthrough case is an infection that occurs post-vaccine. Or in the case of COVID-19, it means someone testing positive for COVID after they’ve been fully vaccinated. As of April 13, 2021, the CDC reported that out of more than 75 million people who’d been vaccinated (at that time), they’d received 5,814 reports of vaccine breakthrough infections. No vaccines are 100 percent effective at preventing illness. But the low percentage of COVID breakthrough cases indicates that the vaccines are working. According to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, the bottom line is “getting a vaccine will help protect you. It will protect others and it will help us end this pandemic.” That’s encouraging news for all of us!
Pregnancy & COVID Vaccine Safety
What you put in and on your body is always important. And it’s especially important during pregnancy. Recent data from more than 35,000 women in the US found the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to be safe for pregnant women. The preliminary findings also included data on the rates of miscarriage, premature births, and other complications, which was comparable to data collected from studies conducted before the pandemic. The most reported side effects reported by pregnant women who received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine include injection-site pain, fatigue, headache, and myalgia. These common side effects were reported after participants received the 2nd dose of either vaccine. None of the voluntary participants in the CDC study received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Baptist Health South Florida
Baptist Health is committed to their mission to improve the health and well-being of individuals and to promote the sanctity and preservation of life in the communities they serve. Their expansive network of service providers, hospitals, and healthcare facilities is accessible offers world-class care right here in South Florida. For more information about Baptist Health, visit their website and follow your go-to health and wellness resource in South Florida on Instagram.
Have questions about pregnancy, labor, and delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic? Check out this helpful Q&A with Dr. Ellen Schwartzbard.