WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Contracting COVID-19 while pregnant can be a scary thought for expecting mothers.
A Palm Beach County mother, who was not vaccinated, recently detailed her battle with the virus while pregnant with her daughter.
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Board-certified OB-GYN physician Dr. Dudley Brown Jr. explained Tuesday that it is not dangerous for pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
"It's more dangerous to get COVID in pregnancy than it is to get the vaccine in pregnancy," Brown Jr. said.
He said the data that has been collected by researchers confirm the safety of the vaccine for pregnant women.
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"There have been over 30,000 women who have either gotten the vaccine in pregnancy or who conceived shortly after getting the vaccine," Brown Jr. said. "The data that we're collecting has shown no sort of dangerous effects from the vaccine in pregnancy."
He emphasized the best way for mothers to protect themselves and their unborn baby from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.
"At any point in pregnancy, if you get COVID, you could get severely ill, meaning hospitalized, meaning intensive care stay, meaning potentially dying," he said.
Kat McGinley of Palm Beach Gardens and her husband are preparing to give birth soon.
"The thought of introducing a child to this world is scary enough," McGinley said.
Early on she decided she wanted to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but for the first 20 weeks of her pregnancy, McGinley said the morning sickness was unbearable.
"I had to wait until I was no longer puking my brains out every day, and at that point, I was in my second trimester, so you kind out of get out of the 'first trimester scares' anyway," McGinley said.
Expecting mothers can expect some side effects from the shot like low-grade fever or fatigue like others who receive the vaccine.
Brown Jr., who is McGinley's doctor, said statements about the vaccine being experimental are false but treatments for COVID-19 are what is actually experimental.
He said women who contract the virus during pregnancy may be treated with convalescent plasma or remdesivir in an effort to save the child and mother.
"Those [treatments] don't have significant pregnancy data, so those are experimental," Brown Jr. said.
He points out that even if you don’t have underlying conditions, pregnancy is a risk factor for severe illness.
McGinley said she has pregnant friends on both sides of the aisle regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. She said getting the shot was a decision she had to make for herself.
"Obviously with the delta variant, it's very scary. I've continued to wear my mask even with the vaccine," she said.