Dear Clients & Families of Midwives of Brampton & Halton Hills,
As vaccines for COVID-19 become increasingly available, many of you may be wondering if it is recommended to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in pregnancy, or while breastfeeding. Due to the exclusion of pregnant and lactating populations from clinical trials, it is difficult to make evidence-based recommendations surrounding vaccination in pregnancy, and during lactation.
Most pregnant people infected with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms, and recover on their own. However, it is important to know that infection with COVID-19 in pregnancy is associated with increased risk of severe infection; including developing pneumonia, admission to ICU, and need for ventilation, compared with non-pregnant people of the same age and sex. Severe COVID-19 infection in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery, and caesarian section.
The risk(s) associated with being vaccinated for COVID-19 in pregnancy remain unknown, and largely theoretical. Historically, vaccines that do not contain live virus have been safe to give in pregnancy, and the COVID vaccine does not contain live virus. We have attached some resources here to assist our clients in making an informed decision about vaccination. We will continue to update you as information becomes available.
It is also important to consider that if you are choosing to be vaccinated for COVID-19, the recommendation is to not have any other vaccines 14 days before and after receiving it. This may affect the timing of your TDAP vaccine, or cause you to choose between the two. At this time we suggest prioritizing the COVID-19 vaccine over the TDAP vaccine, as the risks associated with COVID-19 are higher than the risk of pertussis at this time.
We would like to take this opportunity to inform you that for the time being, Brampton Civic Hospital has discontinued mandatory COVID-19 swabbing on admission to the labour and delivery unit. Georgetown Hospital continues to practice universal COVID-19 testing on all admitted patients.
This continues to be a challenging time for all of us. As variants of concern are circulating, we are seeing more positive cases among our clients. Peel region continues to be a hot spot, which increases the risk of infection and transmission. Our health care system continues to be overtaxed by COVID-19 patients and as result some services such as ultrasound, are experiencing longer than usual wait times. We appreciate your patience during this time.
A reminder that if anyone in your household develops symptoms or tests positive, do NOT come to clinic. Please notify your midwives by calling or e-mailing. You will never be denied necessary midwifery care as a result of having COVID-19, but it is essential that your midwives are informed, such that we can plan your ongoing care and protect other clients by using appropriate precautions. At home visits, please ensure everybody is masked (including anyone who might be answering the door).
We would like to take a moment to commend you all for your patience and resilience in the face of change and uncertainty. We will get through this together. If you have any additional questions about the COVID vaccines please discuss with your midwives at your next appointment.
Midwives of Brampton & Halton Hills
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Provincial Council for Maternal Child Health (PCMCH):
Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Ontario (SOGC) Position Statement
Peel Public Health COVID Vaccine Information
Halton Public Health COVID Vaccine Information