Obstetricians and gynecologists remain engaged in an ongoing effort to encourage vaccination of pregnant patients, who are suffering and dying from COVID-19 in hospitals across the country. The spread of misinformation and mistrust in doctors and science is contributing to staggeringly low vaccination rates among pregnant people, reports suggest.
ACOG is asking its members to sign an open letter endorsing COVID-19 vaccination. The vast majority of people who are hospitalized and dying from COVID 19 are unvaccinated, and seven in ten pregnant people have not been vaccinated against the disease, according to the CDC. Members are reporting to ACOG that they are extending themselves in time-consuming and often creative ways to convert one unvaccinated pregnant person at a time.
Two Ways Physicians Are Guiding Patients and Policymakers
Clinicians have a responsibility to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among all eligible people. As a trusted physician, you can make a meaningful difference in individuals’ vaccination decisions in these ways:
- Log into the ACOG website and sign the open letter to patients encouraging vaccination. ACOG will share this letter with patients, policymakers, and the media to show the strong consensus among obstetrician–gynecologists.
- Continue to advise all our patients, including those who are pregnant, lactating, or trying to become pregnant, to get the COVID-19 vaccine. You can find resources to guide these important conversations in ACOG’s Stop the Spread campaign.
Evidence-Based Vaccination Recommendations
The evidence clearly shows that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, including during pregnancy. Pregnancy is a risk factor for severe complications from COVID-19. ACOG and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine strongly recommend that all pregnant people be vaccinated against COVID-19. Leading medical organizations have repeatedly affirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines have no impact on fertility.
Disciplinary Action Against Physicians who Spread Vaccine Misinformation
The Federation of State Medical Boards, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and others have issued unambiguous statements about the importance of medical and professional ethics and the dangers of spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines. Physicians promoting false vaccine information risk disciplinary action, potentially including the loss of their medical licenses.
The ACOG Code of Professional Ethics states that all obstetrician—gynecologists should contribute positively to the well-being of individual patients, to the health care system, and to the public good. Spreading inaccurate information about COVID-19 vaccines violates that code and can subject ACOG Fellows to disciplinary action by the College.