COVID booster and pregnancy: Doctors work to combat vaccine hesitancy among expecting mothers

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Veronica Moreno is almost four months pregnant with her first child.

She has yet to get the COVID-19 booster but does plan on it as soon as possible

"I think it is something most mothers should be considering, when they are pregnant, the health and the well-being of the babies," Moreno said.

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Doctors have been urging their pregnant patients to get as much protection as possible. A new study published by Epic Research showed that pregnancy doubles the risk of breakthrough COVID-19 infections. While pregnant people tend to get tested more, they are immunocompromised.

"Their immune system is working hard to protect the baby and sometimes makes the pregnant person more vulnerable to infections," said Dr. Melissa Simon, a Northwestern Medicine OB/GYN.

Doctors said the new research underscores the importance of getting vaccinated if you are pregnant.

"We know from prior research, really good research pregnant people are more susceptible of getting admitted into the hospital or they get COVID and not vaccinated," Simon said.

But, for OB/GYN Dr. Sonya Thomas, who serves almost all minority patients, convincing the pregnant ones to get vaccinated is a daily challenge.

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"I would say a third of my patients are vaccinated and the other two third's that's not, I've gotten pushback," Thomas said.

Thomas has been telling her patients the vaccine actually protects the baby when a vaccinated pregnant person passes immunity to their unborn child.

Doctors also want to remind expectant mothers who are hesitant that millions of vaccinated women have successfully given birth to healthy babies.
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