Morning Medical Update Tuesday 9-28-21

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


           After several days of declines, the numbers of COVID patients being treated at The University of Kansas Health System are back up. 33 with the active virus are being treated, up from 29 yesterday. 12 patients are in the ICU, up from ten yesterday. Seven are on ventilators, the same as yesterday. 38 other patients are still hospitalized because of COVID but are out of the acute infection phase, up from 37 yesterday. That’s a total of 71 patients, up from 66 yesterday. HaysMed reports 13 active patients with four recovering.

            On today’s Morning Medical Update, we were joined by Dr. Kevin Ault, a man with a lot of important jobs. Besides being an OBGYN at The University of Kansas Health System, he’s a member of the CDC advisory committee on vaccines called ACIP. That committee meets tomorrow, and he shared what he expects to hear. He also discussed the vaccine fears many women express, and explained how many expectant and p                                  

            It’s the most common fear women say they have about the COVID vaccine: whether it will affect their fertility. You knew it would come up on today’s program and Dr. Ault put an end to this myth, hopefully once and for all. He says the data shows no increased risk of birth defects, preterm labor or miscarriage from the vaccine, plus there are benefits for the baby with increased antibodies. He adds there have been no studies showing the vaccine interrupts menstrual cycles. Some pregnant vaccinated women report spotting, which he says is normal in any pregnancy. He says the vaccine has been proven safe during all trimesters of pregnancy. However, the data shows unvaccinated pregnant women who get COVID have a very high risk of bad birth outcomes such as stillbirth and preeclampsia. He counsels his patients about the COVID vaccine the same as he does for flu shots and urges them to get both. It’s the same advice infertility doctors around the country are giving. As for tomorrow’s ACIP meeting, he says the group will be catching up on recommendations for other vaccines, such as for hepatitis C, a disease which has been going up for people between 30 and 60. So no COVID discussions tomorrow. He expects the group will meet again soon to discuss the Pfizer vaccine and their request for emergency use authorization for kids 5 to 11. He thinks a decision may come by Thanksgiving. It’s not known yet whether kids will need one or two shots. He says the current vaccine offers great protection against the Delta virus and doesn’t believe boosters will have a changed formula. Boosters, he said, are for a very specific population, and not yet needed for most of us. He’s more worried about those who have not yet had their first shot, as barely half the country has been vaccinated.

             Dana Hawkinson, MD, medical director of Infection Prevention and Control at The University of Kansas Health System, says the key to a booster shot is waiting at least six months, and then only getting it if you meet specific requirements. It’s best to check with your doctor. He pointed out the mRNA vaccines have very few components, all of which are things your body handles every day. He says it’s a myth that vaccines change your DNA. His best advice is never miss an opportunity to get vaccinated, especially for the flu and for COVID. Both, he reminds us, can be given at the same time.


            Wednesday, September 29 at 8:00 a.m. is the next Open Mics With Dr. Stites. He’ll focus on how doctors here in KC are helping doctors in central Kansas care for critically ill patients without an ICU.

NOTE:  Journalists should rejoin the Morning Medical Update at 8am as doctors are growing too busy again for individual interview requests.  Please bring questions or send to until further notice.  Thanks for all you do and helping to keep the community safe with your reporting.

ATTENTION: media procedure for calling in:

 The meeting is available by Zoom, both video and by phone. To join the Zoom Meeting by video, click

Telephone dial-in Participants: For those without Zoom, call 1-312-626-6799, meeting ID: 782 897 8628.

The feed is also available via TVU grid. The TVU source is UoK_Health and is being made available to all.

Feel free to send questions in advance to