Doctors encourage pregnant women to get COVID-19 vaccine

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Expectant mothers have a lot to think about preparing for their child. Added to that, the decision whether or not to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Doctors say pregnant women are at a much higher risk for COVID-19 complications, which is one of the reasons why doctors highly recommend women get the shot.

Medical experts at Tidelands Health said vaccination is effective at preventing COVID-19 and may help transfer protective antibodies to the baby through the placenta and breast milk. Those antibodies may lower the chances of the baby getting COVID-19.

Doctors said pregnant women who get COVID-19 are more likely to become sick than those who are not pregnant. Pregnant women should consider getting the vaccine if they work in healthcare or places where they come in close contact with people.

“The experts out there are doing their research and looking at the research and encouraging women to receive this vaccine,” certified nurse and midwife, Deborah McKee said. “It is a changing time and it is a decision that a woman has to make based on her comfort level, based on her family needs and based on her risk factors.”

Dr. Kathleen Dunn is an OBGYN physician for Conway Medical Center. She encourages women to get the vaccine no matter how far along they are in their pregnancy. Dr. Dunn said that’s because pregnant women are at a much higher risk for complications from coronavirus, three times more likely to end up in the intensive care unit and likely to have pregnancy-related issues. Dr. Dunn said she wants to make sure all her patients get the vaccine and says recently.. she has seen patients end up in the hospital.

“We’ve been seeing patients now over the past couple of weeks and almost daily come in with something related to COVID, either hospitalized with COVID or have come in with some covid related complaint. I recently delivered a patient last week who was on oxygen who had COVID,” Dr. Dunn said.

Dr. Dunn has also gotten many questions about the vaccine. She said she wants to clear up any misinformation that the vaccine does not cause infertility in both men and women.

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