Public Notice - NTHSSA urges individuals at any stage of pregnancy to get the COVID-19 vaccine

(October 21, 2021, Yellowknife) – NTHSSA is strongly urging those who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or have recently given birth, to get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

COVID-19, particularly the Delta variant, is highly infectious. It is becoming very difficult to avoid exposure to COVID-19 and more pregnant people are developing COVID-19 illness. Although the overall risk of severe illness is low, pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 including hospitalization, intensive care, need for a ventilator or special equipment to breathe, or illness that results in death. Even if illness is not severe, having COVID-19 infection in pregnancy often affects the pregnancy experience and birthing experience, and causes significant stress. Immunization is the best way to protect pregnant people and their babies.

Based on evidence of safety in pregnancy, the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy. There is now evidence showing the mRNA vaccines are not linked with miscarriage, pregnancy complications, or birth defects, harms to the baby, or infertility for women or men. They are recommended at any stage of pregnancy or while trying to become pregnant.

Vaccines make your immune system stronger by building antibodies to help prevent disease. Immunization prevents most COVID-19 infections.  If vaccinated people do develop COVID-19 disease it is much milder than what it would have been without the vaccine and they are infectious for a shorter period of time, which means less risk to you and your baby.  Immunization allows some immunity to be passed from pregnant person to infant, which gives some protection to your baby. Canadian Pediatric experts recommend getting the vaccine in pregnancy rather than waiting to have it during breastfeeding, for better and earlier protection for you and your baby.

We encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns.

You can request COVID vaccination by contacting your local health centre or public health office.  If you are in Yellowknife, please visit our online booking system to make an appointment at the vaccine clinic.  The vaccine is also available and safe to get at Stanton Hospital right after you have given birth, but it is better for you and your baby to get it while you are still pregnant to give the most protection to you and your baby.