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Health officials encouraging pregnant women to get vaccinated after rise in COVID-19 cases

Posted at 3:36 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 17:47:57-04

MAGIC VALLEY — The CDC recently released information showing the number of COVID-19 cases in pregnant people is increasing nationwide.

Health officials in the Magic Valley are encouraging pregnant people to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their babies from COVID-19.

“One of the first things that usually happens when a disease spreads is that concern immediately turns to our more sensitive groups. Those are our elderly. Those are our immune-compromised. People that have some disease or take medicine that is compromising their ability to fight disease. Those are our pregnant women and our young children,” Brianna Bodily with the South Central Public Health District said.

With the number of COVID-19 cases rising among pregnant women, health officials are worried about their well-being. Especially since a majority of COVID-19 cases within unvaccinated pregnant women have led to severe symptoms.

“So many pregnant women have questions about whether it is safe for them. It is a great opportunity to go talk to your doctor. If you have some very basic questions not about your medical history but just about whether or not it's safe for the general public in this category, you’re more than welcomed to reach out to us," Bodily said.

SCPHD says they have seen vaccine hesitancy among pregnant women since the vaccine was first released. They say this could be due to a lack of evidence when the vaccine was first released on how it affects women and their babies.

“Now the great news is we do have a mounting amount of evidence that suggests that this is not only safe and effective but far better for pregnant women and their babies to get the vaccine than to get COVID-19," Bodily said.

This issue is not just nationwide, but other countries have also seen an increase in COVID-19 cases among pregnant people.

“There was a recent report out of England that 20% of their critical COVID-19 patients were pregnant. That is a huge amount, especially considering how few women are pregnant at any given time," Bodily said.

Vaccines have been encouraged for pregnant women even before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Health officials say it can also help strengthen the baby's immune system.

“One thing that is encouraged when you are pregnant is to get a couple different vaccines because what we see with those vaccines is that some of that immune protection is transferred to the baby in the womb," Bodily said.