11 Sep, 2021 06:30 AM4 minutes to read
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian reveals freedoms will be extended only for vaccinated people. Video / Sky News Australia
A Melbourne doctor has delivered a chilling warning to women about the effects of coronavirus during pregnancy as the state recorded 450 new infections.
Victorian numbers continue to climb as the government on Saturday announced new rules which will allow pregnant women to receive priority vaccination access.
Doctors are growing concerned about the number of expectant mothers in hospital with Covid symptoms.
Ryan Hodges, a leading expert in complex pregnancies, is part of a team that delivers more than 10,000 babies a year.
He is alarmed by the number of pregnant women requiring hospitalisation because of Covid.
He said Monash Women’s was treating seven pregnant women with Covid infection.
“And I’m here today on behalf of my team to tell you that we’re very worried,” Hodges said.
He added that the effects of coronavirus are more severe than influenza, and he would “never” have seven pregnant women requiring treatment in his hospital because of the flu.
As part of the government’s new scheme, women who are 24 weeks or more into their pregnancy will be classed as a priority group to receive vaccinations at state-run centres.
Dr Ryan Hodges is alarmed by the number of pregnant women requiring hospitalisation because of Covid-19. Photo / SuppliedThey will be given priority access in line with healthcare and aged care workers.
Hodges said the Pfizer vaccine was completely safe for pregnant women and did not lead to increased risks of miscarriage or other health problems in their unborn child.
“We have lots of women now who are very sick, who have a very high risk of needing their babies to be born early,” he said.
“We know that in pregnancy, coronavirus infection means you’re five times more likely that you’re going to need to come to us at Monash.
“And when you do come to us at Monash, there is a one-in-three chance that you’re going to need oxygen therapy. There’s a one-in-seven chance you’re going to be in intensive care, a one-in-two chance you’re going to need emergency delivery of your baby.
“There’s a one-in-two chance of caesarean section and a one-in-four chance of your baby needing to be born prematurely.”
Meanwhile, dozens of new exposure sites have been placed on alert across Victoria after the state recorded another 450 new infections.
Just a day after most of regional Victoria came out of lockdown, new locations were listed a long way from Melbourne.
A critical care nurse administers an anti-viral medication to a Covid-19 positive patient. Photo / APHealth Minister Martin Foley emphasised that there was no plan to reintroduce lockdown measures in regional Victoria.
There were eight cases in regional Victoria, with five coming from Geelong, with three of those linked to construction sites.
There was one case each in Cohuna, Daylesford and Beveridge.
Foley said most of the cases have been linked to transmission in metropolitan Melbourne.
A staff member at a cafe in Daylesford, about 100km northwest of Melbourne, worked while infectious on September 7.
Of the new cases reported on Saturday, only 75 were linked to known cases and outbreaks.
A total of 39,148 vaccines were administered and 42,765 test results were received over the past 24 hours.
Seventeen people required hospitalisation Covid-19 symptoms in the last 24 hours.
It takes the state’s total of people in hospital with the virus up to 34, with 26 of those on a ventilator.
For the fourth straight day, Victoria has recorded a record number of vaccinations at state-run clinics, with 39,140 people receiving the jab at state hubs.
When factoring in those who were vaccinated at GPs and pop-up clinics, the total was around 87,000.
“We are now at 65.2 per cent of the eligible Victorian population that is over 16 years of age who have received a first dose, as we move closer to that 70 per cent first dose vaccination milestone,” Foley said.