Pregnant Rhode Island Hospital pharmacist gets vaccinated despite unknown risks

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Dr. Amanda Adams, a pharmacist at the Rhode Island Hospital, is seven months pregnant and vaccinated.

“I got my first vaccine on December 22nd and on January 10th I received my second vaccine,” Dr. Adams said. “My arm was sore, but it felt just like I had gotten a flu shot. I will say after the second vaccine I was very tired, but I’m 31 weeks pregnant and very tired anyway.”

While she’s relieved she didn’t have any major side effects, making that decision was not an easy one.

Pregnant women typically are not included in clinical trials and were not included in the Pfizer and Moderna trials. With little research on how the COVID-19 vaccine impacts pregnant women and their babies, soon-to-be moms face the tough decision of what to do.

Dr. Adams says she contemplated for weeks what to do, in fact, she originally thought she wouldn’t get it.

“What I shared was that anxiety of it being new and this is an unprecedented time,” Dr. Adams said. “In my lifetime I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

She says first, she weighed the benefits and the risks. Pregnancy is on the CDC’s list of high-risk conditions. She says pregnant women who contract COVID-19 are 3x as likely to need ICU level care, 2x as likely to be intubated and on a ventilator, and 2x as likely to die.

“I have a little one already who is four and a husband who depend on me and those are risks to myself as well,” Dr. Adams said.

She says she took her knowledge of medicine and studied the research and data. Now, she wants to help other women make informed decisions.

“I looked at information on how the vaccine works and what it does in my body and what my body will do to the vaccine,” Dr. Adams said. “Then, I had a really long conversation with my own OBGYN. We looked at what my risk was and what the risks and adverse effects associated with the vaccine might be.”

Dr. Adams also says she looked at the clinical trial data.

“There were women in the clinical trial that were pregnant and didn’t know it. The data supports that they were fine and continued to have healthy pregnancies.”

All in all, she says consult your doctor and if you do your own research, make sure to look at reputable sources.

She looked at research from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and The Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine.

Dr. Adams says she hopes she can soon welcome her newborn into a safer, healthier world.

“I feel hopeful. I feel hopeful the end is in sight and that people will continue to educate themselves and make the best decision for themselves and I hope we’re bringing a new baby into this world that is ultimately going to get past this and be in a better place.”

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Providence, Rhode Island