CHESTER, Va. (WRIC) — The CDC issued an “urgent” alert for pregnant women Wednesday evening, doubling down on its previous guidance and telling expectant moms they should get vaccinated as soon as possible. Still, many moms don’t want the shot.
Across the country, data shows us just about 30% of expecting women have gotten the jab.
At seven months pregnant with her third child, Sarah Taylor in Chester is choosing not to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “It just doesn’t sit right with me and with a lot of people I know,” she said. “It just doesn’t sit right.”
Taylor said she supports vaccines generally, but has issue with how quick this vaccine was created. “I’m vaccinated against everything else. I’ve always been pro vaccine. For me, this has been out for less than a year,” she told 8News Thursday.
Taylor said there haven’t been enough studies done on pregnant women getting the jab. Earlier this year after some studies were conducted, the CDC recommended that pregnant women get the shot.
“These data and the known severe risks of COVID-19 during pregnancy demonstrate that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant people outweigh any known or potential risks,” the CDC wrote.
An early August CDC analysis of data from the “v-safe pregnancy registry” assessed vaccination early in pregnancy and did not find an increased risk of miscarriage among nearly 2,500 pregnant women who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
“Miscarriage typically occurs in about 11-16% of pregnancies, and this study found miscarriage rates after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine were around 13%, similar to the expected rate of miscarriage in the general population,” the CDC released.
This week, the agency reported that they’re seeing the number of pregnant women contracting COVID-19 rise in the past several weeks.
“The increased circulation of the highly contagious Delta Variant, low-vaccine intake among pregnant women, and the increased risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications related to COVID-19 infection among pregnant people make vaccination for this population more urgent than ever,” the agency wrote.
Taylor added that pressure from some local OBGYN’s and the government to get the vaccine is pushing her further from wanting it.
“The way that they’re pushing this vaccine just seems very suspicious to me,” she said.
Data from hospitals across the country shows that roughly 97% of pregnant women hospitalized with covid-19 were unvaccinated. The CDC says nationwide, more than 160 expectant mothers have died from the virus, including 22 in just August.
Taylor said she still isn’t interested, adding, “why is it safe for me to pass it to my baby but my five year old can’t get it?”
The Pfizer vaccine is expected to get approved for children five to 11 years old some time this fall.
Taylor told 8News she miscarried before this baby which is making her extra cautious this time around.
Federal health agencies and local experts continue repeating that the vaccine is safe for expectant mothers and women planning to become pregnant.
“We’re still looking at the numbers in Virginia to see if that disparity is as stark but there’s no reason to think it’s not. The CDC sent out that alert because of the August numbers,” said Dr. Danny Avula, vaccine coordinator for the state. “If you’re pregnant to thinking about getting pregnant and you’re not vaccinated, please do because you’re at 70 percent higher risk to get hospitalized if you’re pregnant and contract COVID,” he said.