CORONAVIRUS (COVID) Vaccination
The doctors of Adams Patterson Gynecology and Obstetrics recommend that all women including pregnant, postpartum and lactating women be vaccinated against COVID-19. Getting a vaccine can help protect both you and your baby. Pregnant women have a higher risk of severe illness, hospitalization, ICU admission and death from COVID-19 than nonpregnant women. The Delta variant is causing an increase in admissions for severely ill pregnant women in our community. Pregnant women who become seriously ill with COVID-19 are at increased risk of preterm birth and pregnancy loss. The vaccines are very effective at preventing COVID-19 severe illness and death and have been shown to be safe in pregnancy.
This recommendation is consistent with those of The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine and the CDC.
Unfortunately, anxiety caused by misinformation on social media and unscrupulous websites is preventing people from getting vaccinated and causing much unnecessary illness. We’d like to address a few common concerns here.
MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines are not safe for pregnant women.
FACT: Available data shows vaccination during pregnancy has been safe and effective among the more than 139,00 women who have received a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. These data have been collected from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and from the V-Safe COVID-19 vaccine pregnancy registry. Safety data show no concerns for vaccinated pregnant or breastfeeding women and their babies. To date, there has been no connection to any increased risk of complications after getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy. The risk of complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy is much higher than any risk associated with COVID-19 vaccination.
MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines cross the placenta.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and breastfeeding provides protection for both mother and baby. When a vaccine is administered, it works in the muscle where the vaccine is given—It does not cross to the baby directly. The body then recognizes the vaccine and generates a response in the form of antibodies. These protective antibodies then cross the placenta to the baby or enter the breast and are passed on to the baby through breastmilk.
This process is not unique to COVID-19 vaccines. Influenza and pertussis (whooping cough) are recommended vaccines during pregnancy. Vaccination during pregnancy has been found to be very effective for protecting newborns from these diseases.
MYTH: Breastfeeding women should wait to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
FACT: Breastfeeding women can get a COVID-19 vaccine and still breastfeed if they have already been vaccinated. antibodies stimulated by the vaccine can be passed through breastmilk and help protect a baby from harmful viruses.
MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility.
FACT: There is no data to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines negatively affect fertility or a woman’s ability to conceive after getting vaccinated. Some misinformation claims pregnant women who receive a COVID-19 vaccine reject a protein that is vital for the placenta, which can reportedly make a woman infertile. This has been completely disproven. To date, no vaccine is known to cause fertility issues.
MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines can change a woman’s menstrual cycle.
FACT: There have been anecdotal reports that COVID-19 vaccines affect the menstrual cycle. Menstrual cycles can be affected by a variety of things, including stress, which many have experienced over the past year. It’s not known at this time whether people are seeing changes in their menstrual cycles in relation to the vaccine or other factors such as COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health has shown interest in studying these reports. At this point, no causal link between vaccination and irregular menses has been established.
MYTH: COVID-19 vaccination should be avoided in the first trimester.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccination is safe any time during pregnancy.
MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines can make pregnant women sick.
FACT: Pregnant women have not reported different side effects from non-pregnant individuals after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Side effects from vaccination are normal signs that a person’s body is building protection and should go away within a few days. Common side effects are arm soreness, fatigue and body aches.
MYTH: mRNA technology is new and cannot be trusted by pregnant women.
While COVID-19 vaccines are relatively new, the technology behind them has been around for many years. According to the CDC, mRNA vaccines are held to the same rigorous safety and effectiveness standards as all other types of vaccines in the U.S. These vaccines cannot give someone COVID-19 and they do not affect or interact with your own DNA in any way. mRNA vaccines are not live virus vaccines, which are the only vaccines that are generally avoided during pregnancy.
Questions about COVID-19? Our doctors will gladly answer any questions you may have.
Information on Monoclonal Antibodies Use for COVID-19 Infection in Pregnancy
Pregnancy can increase the rate of complications and severe illness from COVID-19 infection. Monoclonal antibody therapy is a brief outpatient infusion treatment that can help reduce the chance of severe disease. It is generally given to those with mild symptoms within the first ten days of symptom onset.
Additional risk factors for complication from COVID include:
Advanced maternal age
Age over 65
If you are pregnant and have tested positive for COVID-19. Please call the office at promptly 901-767-3810 so that we can further discuss your care.
Dear Adams Patterson patients and families,
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing many changes thoughout our community. Each of us must do our part to decrease the spread of the virus. Adams Patterson is doing everything we can to protect our comminity and also continue to provide adequate care for our patients. Please help us by adhering to the temporary changes outlined below.
- For your own safety and the safety of out staff, we request that all patients have a face covering securely in place prior to entering our office.
- We ask that patients who have any of the following symptoms call the office for instructions and DO NOT COME TO THE OFFICE: Fever of 100.4 F or greater, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or diffuculty breathing.
- If you have been in close contact with someone under investigation for or diagnosed with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please call to reschedule your appointment for at least fourteen days after your last contact with them.
- We are not able to allow visitors at this time. We ask that all patients attend visits alone unless you are a minor with one parent/guardian present or require a translator. Please arrange for family, support persons, and children to stay at home. You are welcome to facetime or call out during your visit so they can remain involved.
- Annual Well Women's visits are currently being scheduled for after May 1st.
- We continue to see patients with gynecological problems and our obstetrical patients.
- Insurance and financial issues will be handled over the phone.
- No unnecessary persons will be allowed in the office including sales/detail representatives.
- We are offering Telemedicine Visits at this time. Please click link for more information.
We are very fortunate to have such wonderful patients and staff. Thank you for being patient and respecting these changes. Please contact us with questions or concerns.
T. Franklin King, MD Judith J. Williams, MD Sharon A. Butcher, MD
M. Leigh Keegan, MD Leah C. Tonkin, MD Jessica M. Ruffin, MD
Regina G. Healy, MD B. Todd Chappell, MD Leslie T. Hayden, MD
Gregory J. Burana, MD Elizabeth D. Heitman, APN
T. Franklin King, MD M. Leigh Keegan, MD Regina Healy, MD Judith Williams, MD Leah Tonkin, MD
Todd Chappell, MD Sharon Butcher, MD Jessica Ruffin, MD Leslie Hayden, MD Gregory Burana, MD
Darby Heitman, APN
Adams Patterson Telehealth
In order to keep our patients and staff as safe and healthy as possible during the current Cornovirus health situation, we will be offering Telehealth visits for certain types of pre-approved appointments.
While virtual visits are not appropriate for all conditions, we are often able to provide telephone or video call care for these common complaints:
- Urinary tract infections
- Some types of vaginal infections
- Birth control counseling and prescribing
- Menopausal issues
- Medication follow ups
- Discussions regarding test results
- Constipation, diarrhea or vomiting
- Follow up visits for chronic gynecology visit issues
- Some types of minor obstetrical complaints
- Anxiety/ Depression medication management
Please keep in mind that since a physical exam, laboratory testing and diagnostic imaging cannot be performed via video conference, we cannot schedule Telehealth visits for conditions which require these types of evaluations. Our office is open and will still be scheduling these types of visits in the office.
Most of our major insurers are covering Telehealth visits at this time. You will be billed through your insurer and any applicable co-pay will be collected online prior to your Telehealth visit. If your insurer does not cover Telehealth, you will be asked to provide online payment at the time of your Telehealth visit. The Telehealth visit fees range from $50-$150.
It is possible that after video-conferencing, you may be asked to come in for an in-office visit if it becomes obvious that we need to perform a physical exam or any testing that reaches beyond the abilities of video conferencing. If this is necessary you will not be charged for the Telehealth visit.
We are providing video conferencing through doxy.me, a video conferencing platform that is HIPAA secure. All data is encrypted, your sessions are anonymous, and none of your information is stored on the platform.
Appointments for telehealth visits can be made by calling 901-767-3810.
No need to download software or create an account. Just use your smartphone (easiest) or computer or tablet with a camera and microphone. Supported browsers are Chrome, Safari and Firefox only.
To connect with your doctor, you will be sent a personal link via text during a prespecified time period (i.e. Thursday, 10:00-10:45 am). Promptly click the link and sign in to your video call using your first and last name. Be sure to enable your camera and microphone when prompted.
Current data suggests that pregnant women do not appear to be at increased risk of severe disease from the COVID-19 virus compared to nonpregnant women of similar age. Data is very limited regarding possible transmission to the fetus.
Based on this information, current recommendations do not propose creating additional restrictions on pregnant health care personnel or other workers because of COVID-19 alone. Pregnant health care personnel should follow the usual CDC recommended precautions for risk assessment and infection control guidelines for health care personnel working with patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices is an important part of protecting all health care personnel in health care settings.
However, as information on COVID-19 in pregnancy is very limited and emerging data may change our understanding of risks around pregnancy, facilities may want to consider limiting exposure of pregnant health care personnel to patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection, especially during higher-risk procedures (eg, aerosol-generating procedures), if feasible, based on staffing availability.