by Curlan Campbell
- Dr David was vaccinated while nursing her newborn and has not experienced adverse effects
- Vaccine hesitancy is having an effect on overall vaccination rates of pregnant women
- Common comorbidities put you at higher risk of getting a severe case of Covid-19
- Individuals with common comorbidities should be first in line to get vaccinated
US-based Grenadian doctors are joining the call to urge pregnant women who have not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19 to get themselves vaccinated now.
Dr Molara Alexis MD is an Infectious Disease Specialist in San Bernardino, California. Dr Karina David is a Primary Care Staff Physician at Indiana University Health University Hospital. Both are former students of St George’s University (SGU) School of Medicine and testify to the havoc being wreaked by spikes in Covid-19 Delta variant infections in the US.
Dr David was born in New York and grew up in Grenada. She is the niece of Agriculture Minister Peter David. Dr Alexis is the daughter of Dr Francis Alexis QC. Both doctors are currently here on the island to assist medical professionals in the fight against Covid-19. Both doctors accompanied Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell during the weekly post-cabinet briefing on Tuesday, 28 September 2021.
Dr David said she is well aware of the fear that pregnant women have because they are uncertain of the potential impact on their unborn child. That hesitancy, she said, is having an effect on the overall vaccination rates of pregnant women. However, she said studies have proven that it is not taking the vaccine that poses a tremendous risk for pregnant women.
Using herself as an example, Dr David said she can testify to being vaccinated while nursing her newborn and has not experiencing any adverse effects. “We do recommend those pregnant women, and those lactating women to get vaccinated. In fact, pregnant women stand to have higher rates of complications from Covid-19. So yes, if you are pregnant, we implore you to get the vaccine. It is safe and effective. As it stands with nursing mothers, yes, we recommend vaccination for nursing mothers. In fact, I was nursing my 4-week-old infant when I got my first dose. He was about 12 weeks old when I got my 2nd dose and still nursing him. I got my booster last week and he is still doing well,” she said.
Dr Alexis addressed a common misconception that people with common comorbidities such as asthma, emphysema, heart disease will be at risk for complications if they become vaccinated. “As medical professionals, we are saying that if you have common comorbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, asthma, emphysema, heart disease and another one is the sickle cell which is common here in Grenada, these common comorbidities put you at higher risk of getting a severe case of Covid-19 and it is essential because you have these, that you should be first in line to get the vaccine,” she said.
Dr Alexis has over 16 years of experience in the medical field. She stated that while vaccination is safe for people with weakened immune systems, they must seek advice from their physician on the best time to receive the vaccine. She also mentioned that a group of doctors and other healthcare professionals in the diaspora are currently raising funds, among other strategies, to support healthcare workers on the island.