DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – New CDC data shows that only 31% of pregnant women in the U.S. have been vaccinated against COVID-19. While many doctors are encouraging those expecting to get the vaccine, not everyone feels this is the safest choice for both the mom and the baby.
The data also indicates that unvaccinated pregnant women who catch COVID-19 have a 70% increased chance of death. While alarming, Dr. Nancy Pook, an attending emergency physician at Kettering Health, said this data proves how important getting the shot is for everyone — including pregnant women.
“There was recently literature that was released showing the safety of vaccination and pregnancy. There’s no question if a pregnant woman gets sick with COVID their risk of miscarriage early on or more detrimental consequences goes up,” Pook said.
Abby Wells gave birth to her second child just five days ago and chose to remain unvaccinated during her pregnancy.
“There’s enough pressure on pregnant women right now to keep healthy, right? We don’t wanna get COVID, we don’t wanna get sick. But then, to put the additional social pressure of you’re a bad person if you don’t do this when all you want is information. It’s really frustrating,” Wells said.
Wells said she, her husband and eldest child beat COVID-19 last year. However, before getting pregnant this time around, she made sure to do research on the COVID-19 vaccine and consult with doctors.
“I have the antibodies. I have the immunity, I had all that checked before I went into the hospital. So, why do I need it? Why are we not allowed to ask questions I guess with the COVID vaccine,” Wells said.
However, Pook says she’s seen many unvaccinated pregnant women admitted to the hospital with the virus, and feels a vaccine remains the best choice in preventing further complications. “People who are pregnant are at higher risk for infectious diseases. That is a tragedy that we don’t wanna see.”
Pook also encourages any women pregnant or planning to become pregnant to reach out to their family physician or OBGYN if they have questions about pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine.