Living Well: Baptist Health doctor on mission to debunk COVID-19 vaccine myths

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Data indicates pregnant women are at a higher risk of experiencing complications from a COVID-19 infection.

As such, doctors at Baptist Health want to assure pregnant women that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and could save their lives.

Dr. David Shenker at Baptist Health is on a mission.

“It’s our responsibility to inform people that this is a safe vaccine,” Dr. Shenker, Baptist Health OB/GYN said.
Shenker wants to de-bunk some myths going around, including the one about how the vaccine was made too quickly. He said messenger RNA vaccines like the one for COVID-19 have been around since 2006.

“Basically, vaccine companies have been waiting to use this a way to administer a vaccine for 15 years,” Dr. Shenker said.

He said the COVID-19 vaccine simply helps your body produce antibodies, which won’t let the virus bind to your cells.

He also said there are no additives in the vaccine formula.

“Just from the data, there’s nothing about the way it was made, the mechanism of action or anything like that, historically, that’s gonna cause a problem for somebody,” Dr. Shenker said.  

He also wants to make clear the vaccine does not cause infertility.

“It has totally been disproven,” Dr. Shenker said. “That was a social media post. There was no study done that actually confirmed that.”

He said he gives other vaccines to pregnant women all the time, and very few have complaints about those.

“The flu vaccine is supposed to be given when you’re pregnant,” Dr. Shenker said. “We also give T-dap while you’re pregnant, which is for whooping cough.”

Shenker said pregnant women should get the vaccine, if not for themselves, but for their baby and the rest of us, too.

“You also need to think about doing it for everyone else, because we’re trying to get out of this pandemic, we’re trying to get back to normal life,” Dr. Shenker said.

Dr. Shenker said a pregnant woman can get the vaccine anytime during her pregnancy, unless she’s just gotten another vaccine, in which she should wait two weeks, or if she’s about to have surgery.

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