MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A surge of expectant mothers testing positive for COVID-19 across America and locally on the Gulf Coast is causing concerns with health officials.
There is a rise in COVID-19 cases among pregnant women. Health officials are urging expecting moms to be vaccinated. Expecting moms are in that high-risk category, but not all are willing to roll up their sleeves.
Ann Payne-Johnson, M.D. a family medicine physician at USA Health said “It’s 100 percent a crisis.”
The CDC notes only about 20% of pregnant woman have at least one dose.
“There is a lot of vaccine refusal with pregnant patients because they’re afraid of potential side effects or complications with the pregnancy or things they fear could happen to the baby,” Johnson said.
Some women are even dying before they get to see or hold their newborns. Johnson has seen it multiple times at USA Health. Their babies all survived, but will now grow up without their mothers.
Johnson said the vaccine is the only way for those mothers to protect themselves and their baby.
“There are some studies that show that babies can have some antibodies when the mom has been vaccinated and you obviously can’t vaccinate a newborn. Whether it’s invitro or the mom is breastfeeding, that baby is going to have some protection that they wouldn’t have if the mom wasn’t vaccinated.”
The CDC says it’s safe to get the vaccine at any point in your pregnancy. They also recommend those who are breastfeeding or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant.