The Washington Post (9/22, Malhi) reported, “Federal regulators recommended on Friday that expectant mothers get an RSV vaccine to protect their newborns from the potentially deadly respiratory disease.” A CDC advisory panel has recommended the vaccine “for people who are between 32 and 36 weeks pregnant and who will give birth during the fall and winter, when RSV cases usually spike.”

Our office will provide more information about the RSV vaccine once we are able to stock and administer it. 

The AP (9/22, Stobbe) reported the Pfizer vaccine (Abrysvo) “prompts the moms-to-be to develop virus-fighting antibodies that pass through the placenta to the fetus.” That protection “likely drops after 6 months of age, so the shot is for use between September and January in most of the U.S., to coincide with the time of year when RSV infections tend to be most common.”

Reuters (9/22, Roy, Erman) reported, “The CDC recommendation comes after a panel of advisers voted 11 to 1” to recommend the shot.

ABC News (9/22, Cobern) reported American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Immunization, Infectious Disease, and Public Health Preparedness Expert Work Group Chair Laura Riley, MD, “told ABC News, ‘as an obstetrician, I am very excited that there’s finally a maternal vaccine. I think that we’ve had the experience with other vaccines that suggest maternally derived antibodies cross the placenta fairly rapidly and can protect the baby from vaccine preventable diseases.’” Also, ACOG “released a statement in support of the vaccine with” Interim CEO Christopher Zahn, MD, FACOG, “saying, ‘The national and global burden of RSV disease demonstrates how critical it is to prevent this virus in infants. ACOG believes the maternal RSV vaccine is efficacious and it is necessary that parents have this option to protect their newborns from RSV after birth. ACOG is currently making updates to its clinical guidance that will be released in the coming days.’”

The Hill (9/22, Choi) and NBC News (9/22, Bendix) also reported.

The American Journal of Managed Care (8/18, Munz) reported, “According to a recent study published in Vaccine, getting the COVID-19 booster shot on top of the initial mRNA vaccine leads to a dramatic increase in antibodies – for mothers and infants – at the time of delivery.” According to the article, “at delivery, the post-vaccine antibody levels were significantly higher in booster recipients compared with pregnant individuals who only went through the primary 2-dose vaccine series.”

The New York Times (8/4, A1, Belluck) reported the FDA has approved Zurzuvae (zuranolone), “the first pill for postpartum depression, a milestone considered likely to increase recognition and treatment of” the condition. According to the Times, “Clinical trial data show the pill works quickly, beginning to ease depression in as little as three days, significantly faster than general antidepressants, which can take two weeks or longer to have an effect.”

NBC News (8/4, Bendix, Kopf) reported, “The medication...is taken daily for two weeks.” Researchers found, “in a pair of clinical trials involving women who experienced severe depression after having a baby, the drug improved symptoms – such as anxiety, difficulty sleeping, loss of pleasure, low energy, guilt or social withdrawal – as early as three days after taking the first pill.”

CNN (8/4, Howard) said the agency “added a boxed warning to the drug’s labeling, noting it can impact a person’s ability to drive and perform other potentially hazardous activities.”

Reuters (8/5) reported that in a statement, the drug’s makers “said the FDA issued a Complete Response Letter for the New Drug Application for Zurzuvae in the treatment of adults with” major depressive disorder. That “letter said the application did not provide substantial evidence of the effectiveness of Zurzuvae for” the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder “and that additional studies would be needed to support the approval.”

Also covering the story were The Hill (8/4, Robertson), the AP (8/4, Perrone), HealthDay (8/5, Mann), MedPage Today (8/4, Monaco), and Medscape (8/4, Marcus, Subscription Publication).

Note: This medication is not quite available yet. The Drug Enforcement Administration must first complete a 90-day review, which is required for all drugs affecting the central nervous system. Our office will have more information once the medication is ready to prescribe.

Practical Parenting, the podcast that helps empower parents in the trenches, find joy in the process and thrive through it all. Hosted by Dr. Terry Nguyen, Chair of Pediatrics at GMBC. 

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Washington, D.C. — The following is a statement from Verda J. Hicks, MD, FACOG, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and Christopher M. Zahn, MD, FACOG, interim chief executive officer of ACOG:

“Today’s announcement of FDA approval of the OTC sale of progestin-only birth control is a critically important advancement in the accessibility of reproductive health care. ACOG has long supported OTC access to hormonal contraception, and we are glad that more patients will now be empowered to choose when and where they obtain a safe method of contraception without having to wait for a medical appointment or for a prescription to be filled.

Read the full statement on the ACOG website.

More Information:
Read the full statement on the ACOG website.

As of March 13, 2023, due to the availability of vaccines, effective treatments, and the decline in community transmission rates, universal masking will no longer be required in any GBMC HealthCare facility. This change aligns with current CDC guidelines, which GBMC has followed throughout the pandemic. Although we do not anticipate the need to return to universal masking protocols, GBMC HealthCare may modify the masking requirements if circumstances change.

What will change:

  • Staff members, patients, and visitors will no longer be required to wear masks when inside GBMC HealthCare facilities, including GBMC hospital, outpatient areas, and GBMC Health Partners practices.

What is not changing:

  • Patients and visitors should wear a mask when in GBMC HealthCare facilities if they are experiencing any symptoms of respiratory infection (e.g., cough, runny nose).
  • Patients and visitors are encouraged to wear a mask if they choose to do so.
  • Patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 should delay all elective appointments until they have fully completed the recommended 10-day isolation period.
  • Patients and visitors with a known COVID-19 exposure must wear a mask to prevent the possible spread of the virus for 10 days following their last exposure.

Visit www.gbmc.org/policy to read the full policy.

MedPage Today (2/6, Short) reports, “Since its implementation 12 years ago, the maternal tetanus, reduced diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine has contributed to a decrease in pertussis among the youngest infants,” according to a study based on data from 2000 to 2019. Following “implementation of the maternal vaccine, incidence of pertussis decreased in infants under 2 months old from 205.4 per 100,000 infants in 2012 to 75.4 cases per 100,000 in 2016.” The findings published in JAMA Pediatrics showed that, “in comparison, the pre-maternal Tdap vaccine period had no significant changes for annual pertussis incidence, which stayed around 165.3 per 100,000 infants.” American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Liaison to ACIP Linda Eckert, MD, said, “Everyone who is pregnant should feel confident in knowing that the Tdap vaccine is safe and effective.”

Capital Women's Care - Division 56 administers the Tdap in our office to all our pregnant patients at the 30-32 week visit.

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce and his family are ready for what's being dubbed the "Kelce Bowl!" Speaking with brother Travis Kelce on their podcast, the two discussed having their family members at the Super Bowl—and the soon-to-be dad of three shared that "Kylie's bringing her OB because she's going to be 38 weeks pregnant at the game."

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HealthDay (11/22) reports “exposure to even low levels of alcohol” in utero “can change the structure of the fetus’ brain, according to Austrian researchers” who “used MRI scans to assess the impact of drinking on 24 fetuses.” The study found that “the fetuses with alcohol exposure had a fetal ‘total maturation score’ that was significantly lower than in the age-matched controls,” and the superior temporal sulcus “involved in social cognition, audiovisual integration and language perception was shallower.” The findings are set to be presented at the Radiological Society of North America 2022 Annual Meeting.

CNN — As Abhishesh Pokharel carried his 3-week-old daughter into the emergency department, her fingers and toes were turning blue.

Other parts of her tiny body were yellow.

Something was very wrong.

The triage nurse at Greater Baltimore Medical Center knew it, too. She took one look at baby Ayra and gave her father an order:


Across the building he sped, his wife right behind him – to the pediatric emergency department.

More Information:
Continue reading on CNN.com

HealthDay (11/10, Munez) reports, “Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 while pregnant provides higher levels of antibodies for both mom and baby than catching the virus does, a...study finds.” According to the findings published in JAMA Network Open, “when pregnant women received one of the two available mRNA vaccines, researchers found that the women had 10-fold higher antibody concentrations than those who were infected naturally.” The team “detected antibodies as early as 15 days after the women’s first dose of the vaccine.”

Healio (10/6, Bascom) reports that “receiving a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant did not increase the risk for peripartum outcomes, and may lower the infant’s risk for NICU admission and intrauterine fetal death, according to a” nine-study systematic review and meta-analysis. Investigators “found that, regardless of the timing of the first dose, COVID-19 vaccination was not connected to an increased risk for adverse outcomes in mothers or infants.” The results were published in JAMA Pediatrics.

HealthImaging (9/28, Murphy) reports, “New survey data out of Orlando Health reveals that up to 22% of eligible women have not undergone their first mammographic screening for breast cancer.” Additionally, “according to an Orlando Health release on the data, many of these women (aged 35 to 44) have no intention of completing a breast cancer screening any time soon.”