Pregnant Saskatoon woman grateful for upcoming vaccination after close call with COVID-19

Sherri Quintin is 32 weeks into her pregnancy. Her brother-in-law, who was a part of her small circle of contacts, caught COVID-19 at work. After the frightening experience, she's glad to be getting her vaccination this week.

Pregnant people are more at risk for severe outcomes, doctor says

Sherri Quintin says it was scary having to be in isolation after a COVID exposure. She's 32 weeks pregnant. (Submitted by Sherri Quintin)

A pregnant woman in Saskatoon is grateful she's eligible for the vaccine against COVID-19, after a close call with the illness. 

Sherri Quintin is 32 weeks into her pregnancy and also has a toddler. Her brother-in-law, who was part of her small circle of contacts, caught COVID-19 at work. But the family had Easter dinner together before he knew he had the illness, and the entire social bubble had to go into isolation. 

For Quintin, it was a scary experience. The people who would usually help out in such a situation were also isolating.

"Taking a two-and-a-half year old for a COVID swab test was not ideal," she said.

As a precaution now, she's pulling her child out of daycare and closing her bubble to her immediate household only, with her parents watching her toddler while she works. 

Now that pregnant people in Saskatchewan have been added to the priority queue, Quintin said she's scheduled to get her vaccine Saturday, which is a relief.

"Now just being through that, I don't want to leave the house. I don't want to associate with anyone I don't have to, I don't want to go to the grocery store," she said. 

"As things are really progressing, especially with the [coronavirus] variants, it's really nerve-racking."

Dr. Jennifer Blake, CEO of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, said pregnant people are more at risk for serious outcomes if they catch COVID-19. They're more likely to be hospitalized, have a long recovery time, and more likely to need a ventilator, she said.

Ventilating a pregnant person is more difficult as well, she said. 

"Our lungs are a little bit compromised because of the pressure of [the] pregnant uterus pushing up on the diaphragm, and so any respiratory viruses ... are more of a concern to us in pregnancy, or are more severe in pregnancy," she said. 

Most people who catch COVID while pregnant are OK in the end, Blake said, emphasizing she doesn't want to scare anyone.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself is the best everyone can be doing: get vaccinated, wear a mask and keep your distance, Blake said. 

With files from Leisha Grebinski