covid-19 vaccine

Frontline Doctor Warns Of COVID-19 Case Spike in Pregnant Women

Doctors say they are taking care of more pregnant women in ICU now than ever before

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A warning from a doctor on the frontlines of the COVID-19 case surge.

Maternal-fetal medicine specialist Dr. Jessica Ehrig, with Baylor Scott & White Temple, said they're seeing more pregnant women become seriously ill from COVID-19 than ever before in the pandemic.

"We are taking care of more pregnant women in ICU now than some of us have ever seen in our careers and that's what is scaring us," said Ehrig.

"What we are seeing, particularly with the Delta patients and this new surge in COVID, it's hitting our pregnant patients harder and more severe," said Ehrig, who adds that all of her patients in the ICU are unvaccinated.

Pregnant women make up one of the groups who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

They also make up one of the groups with the lowest vaccination rate.

A CDC report published last month found that through May 8, just 11% of pregnant women in the U.S. were fully vaccinated.

Major groups like The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and The Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine, say the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and vaccinated mothers can pass on antibodies to their babies through the placenta and breastmilk.

Still, Dr. Ehrig said moms-to-be are fearful of the vaccine and in some cases, learn to regret their decision of not getting a vaccine.

Unfounded vaccine fears are keeping moms to be from making a decision that has come with regret.

"It's the mommas that get intubated, get delivered and don't even know that they have a baby until they get extubated days or weeks later that they look at me and say, "I wish I got the vaccine," said Ehrig.

The DFW Hospital Council estimates that 6%-8% of the region's COVID-19 hospitalized patients are pregnant women.

As of July 28, 1,383 COVID-19 patients are in North Texas hospitals.

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