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Local OBGYN addresses vaccine questions from women

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 8:12 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports that nearly 26 percent of the state’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. While more wait for their opportunity to get the shot, others are hesitant to schedule an appointment due to concerns.

When it comes to women who are unsure about getting vaccinated, Eyewitness News heard from a local gynecologist who addressed three of their main concerns. Dr. Jonathan Scrafford, an OBGYN with Ascension Via Christi said he often gets safety questions about COVID-19 vaccines, including from new moms.

“I think there’s more reason to believe that there’s higher risk of viral infection to pregnant and breastfeeding women than there is reason to believe that vaccination would cause risk,” Dr. Scrafford said.

Other women ask him if the vaccine will affect their chances of getting pregnant.

“We don’t yet have sufficient data to know the impact on fertility. At the same time, I also try to encourage them by pointing out, if other vaccinations are any indicator, there’s not much reason to believe that this vaccination would have future impact on fertility,” Dr. Scrafford said.

The CDC says the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, but scientists continue to study the side effects. On its website, the CDC offers a list of myths and facts about COVID-19 vaccines.

“The risks for most people in the population is going to be higher from the virus than from the vaccine,” Dr. Scrafford said. “But at the same time, I acknowledge that there are potential risks to both.”

A third common question the doctor’s heard is if you’ve already had COVID-19, should you still get the vaccine?

“Someone who has had COVID-19 is a lower likelihood of getting re-infected than someone in the general population who has never had it,” Dr. Scrafford said. “However, we don’t yet know everything about how long immunity lasts.”

When it comes to gathering information on a COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Scrafford recommends relying on people and organizations that you trust. One of those trusted sources should be your own physician. Experts say getting the vaccine is a personal decision and women should talk with their doctors.

Dr. Scrafford is among them.

“This is a medical decision, and really should be left to each individual to consider what they think is going to best for them and their family,” he said.

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