Pregnant women in B.C. now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

WATCH ABOVE: British Columbia is the latest province to prioritize pregnant people for COVID-19 vaccines, joining Ontario and Quebec. Robin Gill explains what could happen to expectant mothers who catch the coronavirus.

All pregnant people who are age 16-plus are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccines as a priority population through B.C.’s immunization plan.

“All Health Canada-approved vaccines are safe and effective, and I encourage everyone to register and receive their vaccine as soon as they are eligible. Today, this includes people who are pregnant,” B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

“We have reviewed the data here in B.C. and this shows pregnant people experience severe illness from COVID-19 at a rate that is similar to people who are in their 50s. By prioritizing pregnant people today, we add another layer of protection for them, their babies and their communities.”

A growing number of expectant mothers in Canada have landed in the ICU with COVID-19.

Data showed pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms from the virus. However, Henry said there have only been a “very small number” of pregnant women in B.C. who have needed to be hospitalized or received care in the ICU.

Ontario moved expectant mothers to the top of its vaccine priority list last month.

Pregnant women in Quebec were also moved up on the priority list.

“We are fortunate to have had the ability to track data across Canada to better understand the real impact of COVID-19 in pregnancy,” BC Women’s Hospitals Dr. Deborah Money said.

“My hope is that knowing vaccines are safe and effective at any point in pregnancy will encourage those who are currently pregnant to take the opportunity to get vaccinated.”

Read more:
Doctors say COVID-19 variants put pregnant women at greater risk, cite ‘urgent’ need for vaccines

Data showed pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms from the virus. However, Henry said there have only been a “very small number” of pregnant women in B.C. who have needed to be hospitalized or received care in the ICU.

Dr. Kathleen Ross from Doctors of BC said they would like to see pregnant women in all trimesters offered a vaccine of their choice.

“It appears that pregnant women have exactly the same vaccine-related profile as people who are not pregnant,” she said, speaking about studies done in the United States on the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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