CDC Wants Pregnant Women to Get 4 Vaccines — More and More Women Are Saying ‘No’

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by Mike Capuzzo, Childrens Health Defense:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccine hesitancy among pregnant women is on the rise, causing concern among some doctors and public health officials. But medical experts interviewed by The Defender urged expectant moms to be wary of injections during pregnancy — especially when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines.

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NBC News on Tuesday led its online broadcast with what the network said was the biggest news in the world: “President Biden to visit Israel and vaccine hesitancy on the rise for pregnant women.”

As the winter respiratory illness season rapidly approaches, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the first time is recommending four vaccines during pregnancy: the flu vaccineTdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, or whooping cough), RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) vaccine, and the COVID-19 vaccine.

But more women are saying “no” to their doctors who recommend COVID-19 and the other vaccines — even shutting down conversations with, “I’m not going to talk about it,” according to the NBC News report.

“We are meeting more resistance than I ever remember,” said Dr. Neil Silverman, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at UCLA Health. “We didn’t get this kind of pushback on this scale before the pandemic.”

“Now all vaccines are lumped together as ‘bad,’” he said.

NBC based its report on a CDC study, “Influenza, Tdap, and COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage and Hesitancy Among Pregnant Women,” published in the agency’s Sept. 29 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Medical experts interviewed by The Defender criticized the CDC’s recommendations and its report on vaccine hesitancy.

One of those experts, Dr. James Thorp, a Florida physician, board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology who has practiced obstetrics for more than 42 years, urged more women to say no to COVID-19 vaccines, in particular, which he called “an abomination of science and an abomination of a corrupted health care system.”

By continuing to push dangerous mRNA COVID-19 vaccines on pregnant women, Thorp said, the CDC is breaking the “golden rule” of pregnancy.

“The golden rule of pregnancy is you don’t ever, ever use a novel substance in pregnancy, ever,” he said. “And you don’t have to be a physician or nurse, you don’t have to have any education, to know that.”

Only 27% of survey respondents took COVID booster shot

The CDC study analyzed data from an internet panel survey conducted from March 28 to April 16, 2023. The CDC surveyed 1,814 respondents who were pregnant at any time from October 2022 to January 2023.

Key findings include:

  • Only 27.3% of women chose to take the COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccine before or during pregnancy during the 2022-23 flu season, nearly half the percent who agreed to take some other vaccines, the signal in the study indicating fear of COVID-19 vaccines tainted other vaccines, public health experts said.
  • Skepticism about vaccines has ballooned to taint the flu shot in the eyes of pregnant women, though the flu shot has been given to millions of pregnant women over several decades. Last year, the CDC study found, 47.2% of expectant mothers got their flu shots, down from 57.5% who got their flu shots during the pre-COVID-19 2019-20 season.
  • Among most of the 2,000 women who were pregnant during the peak of last year’s cold and flu season, or when the survey was conducted in March and April, almost a quarter said they were “very hesitant” about getting a flu shot, a significant increase in “vaccine hesitancy” over the 17.2% who said they had reservations during the 2021-22 respiratory illness season.
  • 55.4% of women with a recent live birth elected to receive Tdap vaccination during pregnancy, a number inching back from pre-pandemic levels, but “self-reported hesitancy towards influenza and Tdap vaccination during pregnancy increased among pregnant women from 2019–20 to 2022–23.”

Dr. Denise Jamieson, vice president for medical affairs at the University of Iowa Health Care and a spokesperson for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told NBC News that “even prior to the pandemic, it was a struggle to get pregnant women vaccinated.”

She said she is dismayed that “Tdap is just barely recovering from pre-pandemic levels” and “the number of women vaccinated for Covid is disappointing.”

Dr. Linda Eckert, an OB-GYN and global health and immunization expert at the University of Washington, said more of her patients have “a bias … about how they feel about a vaccine.”

When Eckert recommends a vaccine, more pregnant women now reply, “I’m not going to talk about it,” she said.

Dr. Melissa Simon, an OB-GYN at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, decried the rise in vaccine “myths, what I would call blatant disinformation that is intended to be more politically charged, not based in science.”

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