Huntington Hospital has suspended its program to vaccinate new mothers after the CDC paused use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of concerns about reports about blood clots.
Huntington Hospital has begun offering the Covid-19 vaccine to women after giving birth, the hospital said Monday.
Of the three main available vaccines, the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine was chosen for post-partum patients, said Dr. Mitchell Kramer, head of obstetrics and gynecology, because “it was too difficult for a new mother to come back for the second shot. We felt it was the most effective and safe logistically for them.”
He said the hospital offer of a vaccination “had a very nice response, and it really has been working out well” to the point that some of the partners of the new mothers had asked to be inoculated, too, though the hospital couldn’t provide them with the vaccine at that point.
He said the hospital recommends that pregnant women be vaccinated, because they can become severely ill from Covid-19. “We know from a lot of experience around the world that pregnant women can have a compromised status and we’ve very pleased to see the number of pregnant women who have bee vaccinated.”
Theoretically, he said, breastfeeding mothers can transfer Covid-19 antibodies to their babies who would then develop their own antibodies. While the antibody transfer issue is still being studied,
“The important thing is that we feel the vaccine is safe for breastfeeding, and that Covid can be very severe” for the mother, Kramer said.
The program, which is the first in the Northwell system, began last week.