January 27, 2022 – OB-GYNs, a nurse and midwife affirm the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy and debunk myths about the impact on fertility in 40+ new FAQ videos from THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN. This installment of the campaign is produced by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) under its Greater Than COVID public information response and is funded by the California Health Care Foundation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in three people currently pregnant are not fully vaccinated, a higher rate than in the general population. Earlier data indicated Black and Hispanic pregnant people were less likely to have received a COVID-19 vaccine. These lower rates of vaccination have raised concerns, as pregnant people may face more serious complications if infected with COVID-19, including an increased risk of miscarriage and pre-term birth.
“Pregnancy is a condition that, by definition, causes immunosuppression. Your immune system is already working overtime to keep you and your baby safe,” explains Dr. Monica McLemore, PhD, RN, MPH, in a video for the series.
Dr. Joia Crear-Perry, OB-GYN, Dr. Yolanda Tinajero, OB-GYN and Eva Goodfriend-Reaño, CNM join Dr. McLemore in addressing an array of common questions and concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines before, during and after pregnancy in the new series, including: Is it safe in the first trimester? Do my antibodies pass to my baby? Can I get it when breastfeeding? Will the vaccine affect future fertility? and more.
“Lack of information, and explicit misinformation, about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy and on fertility have kept many from getting this protection for themselves and baby,” said Tina Hoff, Senior Vice President for KFF and Director of KFF’s Social Impact Media Program.
According to a recent KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, only 39 percent of those who were pregnant or planning to become pregnant said they were either “very confident” or “somewhat confident” the COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant people. Nearly six in ten (57%) say they are not confident the vaccines are safe for them. Healthcare workers are consistently named as those most trusted to address questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.
The CDC, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Nurse-Midwives and American Association of Nurse Practitioners, among other leading medical groups, all strongly recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for those currently, recently or considering pregnancy.
The messaging also reinforces the benefits of getting vaccinated in protecting the newborn. As Dr. Crear-Perry, who founded and leads the National Birth Equity Collaborative, says in a video, “If you’re thinking about what can I do to really be healthy, because I’m nervous about COVID and I want my baby to be healthy and I want to be healthy, the vaccine is the best way for you and your baby to be healthy.”
THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN offers an expansive, living video library of more than 300 FAQ videos featuring a diverse group of more than 30 healthcare workers of color. Since launching in March of 2021, the campaign has had more than 118 million video views on digital/social media, totaling more than 62 million minutes watched, with a focus on Black and Latinx communities. It is presented with the Black Coalition Against COVID and Unidos US. The American Academy of Pediatrics is a partner on a series for parents and caregivers about the COVID-19 vaccine and children. YouTube, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are promoting the messaging on their platforms as part of efforts to amplify trusted voices on COVID-19.
All content is available rights-free and designed to be shared on social media and can be easily embedded on websites. A community toolkit provides additional graphics and promotions to extend reach of the messaging.
KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) is a national nonprofit leader in health policy analysis and polling, journalism and social impact media. No affiliation with Kaiser Permanente. Visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor Dashboard, Racial Equity and Health topic page and KHN.
Greater Than COVID is a public information initiative from KFF to help individuals take charge of their health during the evolving COVID-19 public health crisis. Tailored media messages and community tools address information needs about the vaccines.