Pregnant women are encouraged to get vaccinated against coronavirus as soon as possible as the Victorian government ramps up the vaccine roll-out across the state.
Bendigo Health is also going hard in opening discussions with those pregnant to make the right decision by them and their growing family.
Head of the Women's Clinic Nicola Yuen said the data collected over the past 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic showed just how important it was to vaccinate pregnant women.
"COVID is a much worse disease than we all initially thought and it's much worse on pregnancy outcomes," she said.
"There's evidence showing babies and mums have spent time admitted to hospital and intensive care units because of not being vaccinated and contracting COVID.
"Over 200,000 women have had Pfizer while being pregnant and nothing has been flagged as an issue when the baby was born.
"Also five studies are being done looking at vaccination and pregnancy with no evidence of birth defects or infertility; absolutely none.
"There's been a huge shift on what we were thinking and now there's real world evidence based on what's happened.
There's also evidence that being vaccinated passed the antibodies onto the baby which may also benefit babies when born.Nicola Yuen
Under the federal government COVID-19 eligibility checker, pregnant women can receive the Pfizer vaccine.
Dr Yuen warned the very real threat of the current coronavirus outbreaks plaguing the whole of NSW and metropolitan Melbourne could soon affect central Victoria, and vaccinations were a way forward.
"We see a lot of women from the border bubbles and there is an ever present threat from NSW," she said. "This is an opportunist time to vaccinate.
"We know that one shot is good but two are awesome and we need to use this time to vaccinate as many people as possible.
"This is the time to act."
The mixed messaging around the coronavirus vaccine roll-out has confused many and Dr Yuen said pregnant women had expressed anxiety about making the decision to get vaccinated or not.
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"We are doing all we can to encourage people to make the right decision by them which we believe to be vaccination," she said.
"Many people have lost trust in the roll-out but every appointment at the moment is a chance to open up the conversation around vaccination.
"We really want women to ask and explore what their individual concerns are and we are all recommending this hard."
All pregnant women, regardless or where they are booked-in to give birth, can book for a Pfizer vaccination via bendigohealth.org.au/registerforvaccine
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