CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – When Jordan Shand of West Hartford became pregnant during the pandemic, she knew she wanted to protect herself and her unborn baby as soon as she could.
“When I got vaccinated, I think I was about 5 months pregnant,” said Shand. “The main factor was I also have a two-year-old at home. I was thinking about my kids, and thinking about all of the kids I’m around because I am a teacher and want to protect them as much as possible.”
Less than 1/3 of pregnant people have been vaccinated so far, according to the CDC. The agency issued another alert urging pregnant people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
CDC officials have reported just over 160 pregnant women have died from COVID-19, with 22 of them dying in August.
Local doctors say the vaccine is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding people.
“We do have data now to suggest that it is a safe and effective vaccine for pregnant women,” said Dr. Armando Paez, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Baystate Medical Center. “It is important to emphasize this vaccine for pregnant women because of the risk of having a severe illness.”
Pregnancy is considered an underlying health condition which means pregnant people are at risk for complications from COVID, and the pregnant person is not the only one at risk.
According to the CDC, one complication of COVID during pregnancy is premature birth which puts a newborn at risk. The agency says premature babies are more likely to have compromised respiratory function because of underdeveloped lungs. Exposure to COVID also puts a newborn at risk for additional breathing complications.
The CDC has stated there is currently no evidence indicating that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems in people.