Coronavirus Australia: unvaccinated pregnant women in hospital with Covid

Unvaccinated pregnant woman fights for hospital life with Covid after finding it impossible to get a shot appointment – amid calls to expectant mothers to get priority vaccines

  • A pregnant woman who cannot receive a Pfizer vaccine is in an intensive care unit
  • She’s fighting for her life at Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital with Covid-19
  • Pfizer vaccine is preferred for pregnant women, but access is an obvious problem
  • Covid increases risk of preterm birth by 50% and risk of death by 60%


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A pregnant woman who couldn’t get a Pfizer vaccine is fighting for her life in hospital after contracting Covid-19.

The woman, who is 24 weeks pregnant, is in intensive care at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, amid reports that she had tried to get a vaccine appointment before she was struck by the virus.

Roger Smith, co-director of the Hunter Medical Research Institute, said this was a serious problem for the woman and her baby, and called for priority vaccines to be given to pregnant women.

A 24-week pregnant woman is fighting for her life at John Hunter Hospital after reportedly unable to get a vaccine

A 24-week pregnant woman is fighting for her life at John Hunter Hospital after reportedly unable to get a vaccine

“Most disturbingly, she tried to access Pfizer but couldn’t — there was no availability of Pfizer for her,” Professor Smith told the newspaper. Daily Telegram.

“I am concerned that pregnant women are not prioritized for Pfizer, and that young people are given priority instead, even though their risk of serious disease is not that high.”

He said Pfizer was the vaccine of choice for pregnant women, citing a US study that found the risks were not much different from people who were not pregnant.

The Commonwealth Health Department, advised by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, also used the study to advise pregnant women to receive mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer.

Pregnant women are advised to get mRNA vaccines, including Pfizer, but experts say supply is the problem (stock)

Pregnant women are advised to get mRNA vaccines, including Pfizer, but experts say supply is the problem (stock)

Pregnant women are advised to get mRNA vaccines, including Pfizer, but experts say supply is the problem (stock)

Craig Pennell, the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Newcastle, said Covid could significantly increase the risk of preterm birth and stillbirth.

“The main concern for women in intensive care is that the stress of being pregnant makes ventilation much more difficult,” Professor Pennell said. ABC.

He said data shows that having Covid during pregnancy increased the risk of preterm birth by 50 percent, doubled the risk of stillbirth and increased the risk of death by 60 percent.

The woman is in intensive care at Newcastle Hospital (pictured), because the risk of preterm birth has increased by 50 percent after contracting Covid-19

The woman is in intensive care at Newcastle Hospital (pictured), because the risk of preterm birth has increased by 50 percent after contracting Covid-19

The woman is in intensive care at Newcastle Hospital (pictured), because the risk of preterm birth has increased by 50 percent after contracting Covid-19

While Professor Pennel said it’s clear that pregnant women are recommended to get the Pfizer vaccine, the problem was getting access to it.

Caroline McCarthy, a pregnant woman from Merewether, confirmed that booking a Pfizer appointment in Newcastle was a nightmare.

She claimed she was in tears as she tried to scramble to get a dose of the Covid vaccine, calling daily to inquire about availability.

Even at Newcastle’s mass vaccination center in Belmont, Ms McCarthy said it didn’t matter if you were pregnant or not you couldn’t get an appointment.

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