Wolf Administration hosts webinar for women questioning COVID-19 vaccine

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(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — First Lady of Pa. Frances Wolf and Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson led a discussion Thursday about the COVID-19 vaccines and reproductive health during an online event.

Hosted by the Pa. Commission for Women, “Vax Facts for Pregnancy and Reproductive Health” is a series aimed at giving women in the Commonwealth relevant and accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine and addressing concerns.

“Yesterday it was announced that 70% of adults in Pennsylvania have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and that is a great milestone,” First Lady Wolf said. “If we continue to have conversations like this where we bring credible information directly to Pennsylvanians, addressing their concerns like fertility and reproductive health, we will become stronger in protecting ourselves and each other against COVID-19. By educating ourselves with the facts and listening to our medical professionals, we equip ourselves with the education to make the best decisions for our health and the health of our families.”

First Lady Wolf and Dr. Johnson were joined by a panel of medical professionals specializing in reproductive health, women’s health, pregnancy, and fertility to answer any and all questions.

Panelists included Catherine Domanska Elliot, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Lancaster Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Natalie Crouse, Senior Director of Clinical Operations for Adagio Health, and Dr. Samantha Butts, Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health.

With thousands of pregnant women vaccinated, there have been no reports of complications. Since research shows pregnant women are at higher risk for severe cases of COVID-19, the Wolf Administration strongly encourages them to get the vaccine to save themselves and their unborn child.

Dr. Johnson shared words with those still hesitant in getting the vaccine, especially those trying to get pregnant and are afraid of infertility.

“COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, even for people who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant,” Dr. Johnson said. “These vaccines have gone through extensive protocols to be authorized under an emergency use authorization and will continue to be monitored to ensure they remain safe and effective. It’s important that we continue to get important vaccine information out to all Pennsylvanians because good information leads to good decisions. Every person who chooses to get vaccinated brings us one step closer to moving past the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Current data support that available COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective and safe for individuals attempting to become pregnant to prevent serious illness associated with COVID-19 infection. To date, evidence does not demonstrate that COVID-19 vaccines negatively impact the fertility of women or men,” Dr. Butts said.

Want the latest on the coronavirus vaccine and where to get it in Pa.? Visit abc27.com/vaccine for more information.

Panelists also told Pennsylvanians to be careful when researching the vaccine.

“At this point, vaccine access isn’t the hurdle; access to bad information is,” Elliot said. “Patients have concerns and questions, and it’s on us as medical professionals to ensure that we’re providing education so they can make the best choices for themselves.”

The next panel discussion will take place on June 3 at 12 p.m. on Facebook.

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