Local pregnant woman takes part in nationwide vaccine study

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LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Pfizer launched its first COVID-19 vaccine trial for pregnant women on Thursday. Originally, pregnant women were excluded from the first clinical trials. Now, there are a number of studies being conducted and one local woman is part of one.

Caitlin Perry is 34 weeks pregnant. She lives with her husband Nick and their son Jake in Latham. Living during a global pandemic, she says her second pregnancy is different from her first. “It’s different, but it’s a blessing. We’ve been able to spend so much time with our first born, Jake, and being able to really have that family bond as a family of 3 before coming 4,” says Caitlin.

Caitlin received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she had fears of contracting the virus after hearing the effects of the disease on pregnant women. “…There is an increased chance of premature birth. There is an increased chance maternal death,” she says.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting vaccinated is a personal choice for anyone who is pregnant, and recommends that people speak to their health care providers if they have questions about relative risks. Caitlin was willing to take the chance.

She’s vaccinated and part of research! Caitlin is part of a nationwide study from the University of California, San Francisco called ASPIRE. There are a number of studies for moms in all trimesters. About 5,000 women in 49 states are part of the study. Caitlin is doing this to help provide information to the future moms out there.

Dr. Marcelle Cedars, researcher with the UCSF ASPIRE Study says the goal is to get 10,000 women to be part of the UCSF APSIRE study. “We’re not going to be able to help them because we’ll get our answers too late. So it’s incredible that they do this for science and they do it for all the women for are coming behind them,” says Dr. Marcelle Cedars.

For Caitlin, the study focuses on potential risks and benefits to the baby in the womb and then later through breastfeeding. “They are tracking us who have chosen to receive the vaccine. They’re tracking us to still do our blood testing for them. We have little cards and we have to do blood spots.” Caitlin does her blood sampling and surveys right at her kitchen table.

“Being able to contribute to something that is for the greater good and for other people I think that’s the biggest take away from the pandemic…for the future, we [will] know how people are going to react to anything…that was really the biggest decision maker for me,” says Caitlin.

The Perry family is excited to welcome their second baby boy in just a few weeks!

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