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CDC, doctors urge pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Doctors say the consequences of not getting vaccinated could be dire for moms and their babies.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The CDC has urgently warned pregnant women to get vaccinated against the virus now.

Doctors say the consequences of not getting vaccinated could be dire for moms and their babies.

Soon-to-be parents want what's best for their unborn baby so it's natural that they've got questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Jalyn Roberson says she was hesitant to get the vaccine.

She worried how getting the vaccine would affect the growth of her baby and her ability to carry the baby to term.

But, after getting more info, she decided to roll up her sleeve and get the shot.

"Ultimately I decided that it was going to be the best option for me and the baby," she says.

Doctors say misinformation about the vaccine is causing expectant mothers to 'opt out' of getting vaccinated.

Nationwide, only 31 percent of pregnant women received the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Southeast Texas health experts say that number is low.

"We have not seen an extremely large amount of pregnant females coming in for COVID vaccines, but we have seen some since we have began doing the vaccinations," said Judith Smith, director of Port Arthur's health department. 

Dr. Sharon Sharon Smith, a Houston obstetrician, says she's seeing more pregnant women with COVID-19 in 2021 compared to 2020.

Some of Smith's patients are among the 22,000 that the CDC says were hospitalized due to COVID-19.

"I've had moms hospitalized, I've had moms in the ICU," Dr. Smith tells 12News.

161 pregnant women have died with 22 of those deaths coming in August 2021.

"Patients who have actual symptoms of COVID-19 disease have a 70 percent chance of death," she said. 

 The CDC continues to urge getting the shot even if you're pregnant but some still wonder will the vaccine effect their pregnancy.

"There's no evidence that the COVID vaccine causes any problems with the pregnancy at all and I've not encountered any patient with an adverse outcome or any negative reaction," Dr. Smith said.

Data from the CDC shows there was no increase in miscarriage among the vaccinated.

Instead, officials warn the lack of immunization can lead to an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes like preterm birth or stillbirth.

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