COVID-19 and pregnancy: Women regret not getting the vaccine -
Oct 21, 2021 1 min, 33 secs

Harrison was 29 weeks pregnant and unvaccinated when she got sick with COVID-19 in August.

Living in Phenix City, Alabama, she was intubated and flown to a hospital in Birmingham, where doctors delivered baby Lake two months early and put Harrison on life support.

Now Harrison and Nipper are sharing their stories in an attempt to persuade pregnant women to get COVID-19 vaccinations to protect themselves and their babies.

Harrison said she will "nicely argue to the bitter end" that pregnant women get vaccinated "because it could literally save your life.".

Since the pandemic began, health officials have reported more than 125,000 cases and at least 161 deaths of pregnant women from COVID-19 in the U.S., according to the U.S.

And over the past several months, hospitals and doctors in virus hot spots have reported a sharp increase in the number of severely ill pregnant women.

Akila Subramaniam, an assistant professor in the maternal-fetal medicine division of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said the hospital saw a marked rise in the number of critically ill pregnant women during July and August?

She said a study there found the delta variant of COVID-19 is associated with increased rates of severe disease in pregnant women and increased rates of preterm birth.

When COVID-19 vaccines became available to pregnant women in their states this spring, both Harrison, 36, and Nipper, 29, decided to wait.

Nipper's doctor, Timothy Villegas, said testing showed the placenta itself was infected with the virus and displayed patterns of inflammation similar to the lungs of people who died of COVID-19.

Cheree Melton, a family medicine physician who specializes in obstetrics and teaches at the University of Alabama, said she and her colleagues have had about a half-dozen unvaccinated patients infected with COVID-19 lose unborn children to either miscarriages or stillbirth, a problem that worsened with delta's spread.

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