LUBBOCK, Texas — According to the CDC, unvaccinated pregnant women have a 70 percent higher risk of being admitted to the ICU with COVID, and yet many remain hesitant to get the shot.
Lauren Minor said she and her family socially distanced and tried to take all the right precautions, but chose not to get vaccinated. Minor and her entire family are quarantined after testing positive for COVID only 8 days ago.
“My doctor won’t even see me. I’ve been going there for weekly scans and they were like ‘no call us when you get better. A lot of places won’t even see you,” Minor said.
Minor is not alone. Stacy Augustyn created a Facebook group called ‘Pregnant with COVID-19’ after testing positive during her pregnancy. Augustyn said the group was created as a safe place to support others in her shoes. The online group has grown to almost 3,000 members.
“Moms are asking me questions like ‘did you deliver early or did you have these issues?’” Augustyn said.
Augustyn said that expecting and current mothers ask questions relating to the virus and the vaccine during pregnancy. The problem is there is still a lot of anxiety and controversy around getting vaccinated. Members failing to discuss the vaccine respectfully forced Augustyn to ban the topic altogether.
“I was almost close to shutting it down because the vaccine stuff was getting a little crazy, and I obviously didn’t want someone getting false information,” Augustyn said, “or not getting the vaccine because of my group. I thought god forbid they get sick and something happens to the baby.”
While cases like Minor are fortunately not leading to hospitalization, UMC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Ragain said that many cases result in severe complications or turn fatal.
“Right here in Lubbock we’ve had very severe illnesses with patients who are either currently pregnant or immediately after delivery,” Dr. Ragain said. “Who have been very ill in critical care on the ventilator requiring transfer to other facilities for organ transplants. It’s the real deal in terms of severity.”