CDC strengthens recommendation for pregnant women to get vaccinated against Covid-19

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its recommendation for pregnant people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - This week, South Carolina health officials and the CDC recommended that all pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Top health officials say the evidence shows the benefit for pregnant women getting the vaccine outweighs any potential risk.

It's estimated that less than a quarter of women who are currently pregnant have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

At Prisma Health, doctors say people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or are thinking about becoming pregnant should get vaccinated.

Rachael Fedarovich first learned she was pregnant in Jan. 2020, and describes going through most of her pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic as terrifying at times.

She says if she were pregnant right now, she would not hesitate to get vaccinated.

"You know if you're pregnant and you get COVID and you get hospitalized, the side effects are awful so I would definitely keep myself, and my baby, safe with a vaccination," she said.

The newest recommendation from the CDC is their strongest ever for pregnant women, after health officials say more data shows the vaccine is safe and effective for that group.

We found from the CDC that women who are pregnant or were recently pregnant are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Doctor Casey Berson has been vaccinated against COVID-19, and is expecting her first child in a matter of weeks.

"Growing a baby it's a part of you, but it's different than you. So your immunity gets a little bit lowered so you don't attack the baby with yourself. So because of that we're at higher risk of getting the infection and passing it on to the baby," she explained.

At Prisma Health, doctors say there are some common misconceptions they hear from pregnant women as concerns, ranging from the vaccine will reach their baby, increase miscarriage risk, or impact fertility.

Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville/Prisma Health-Upstate Dr. Kacey Eichelberger says all of those are false.

"It feels like the disinformation campaign against this vaccine is stronger than anything that I've had to contend with in my career to date," she said.

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