Metro Vancouver midwife says divisive culture around vaccines affecting pregnant people's immunization decisions
A Metro Vancouver midwife says that the divisive culture surrounding vaccines is playing a role in pregnant people’s decisions around whether to get immunized against COVID-19.
"There is a culture right now of an us versus them and each group thinks they're better than the other,” said Jennie Lucow, of Semiahmoo Midwives.
“I think that comes into play. (Anyone) that wants to have the discussion and has some hesitancy, they're worried about being lumped in one way or the other."
Lucow says she’s had several patients who are hesitant to discuss the matter with her out of fear of judgement.
“I hear clients say, ‘Well I haven’t had my vaccine yet, I want to talk to you about it, but I’m not anti-vax don’t worry,’ which to me makes it feel like I’m going to judge them.”
Several anti-vaccine protests have taken place in B.C. and across Canada over the course of the year, and demonstrations have intensified since the announcement of vaccine passports.
Lucow says the decision to get immunized lies in her patients’ hands, but many are being influenced by false information shared on social media.
“Social media is great in many ways, but there’s a lot of misinformation out there,” Lucow said. “People need to be comfortable having a good conversation with their care provider.”
Clea Stone, a Vancouver woman who is more than seven months pregnant, says the opinions of anti-vaccine family members played a role in her putting off getting immunized for months.
“I had family who was pretty anti-vaccine in the states, and they were pressuring me not to take it,” said Stone.
As more and more research came out, however, Stone decided to take the plunge and get vaccinated.
“You feel like you’re responsible for this unborn child, and you don’t want to do the wrong thing,” she said.
According to the B.C. Government, pregnant people will not be exempt from providing proof of immunization when the province’s vaccine card system rolls out on Monday.