As the city of Chicago was in the middle of a second surge of the pandemic, mother Kate Lemere found herself in an unprecedented position.
“I found out I was pregnant in November,” Lemere said. “I got my first shot in my second trimester and second shot in my third. And of course, I thought to myself, if something happens how will I cope? But that same thought worked for the other side of the coin, what if I contract covid-19 when I’m pregnant?”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging pregnant women to get vaccinated, as hospitals across the country see disturbing numbers of unvaccinated mothers-to-be becoming seriously ill with the virus.
Dr. Priya Rajan, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, is having conversations with her patients daily. She echoed the CDC’s recommendation.
“None of the safety data has raised any concerns so far,” Rajan said. “As the type of doctor who often has to tell people terrible things and say there is nothing we could do to prevent this, something like this vaccine is amazing.”
Lemere gave birth to a healthy baby girl three weeks ago. She said she has no regrets with her decision to get vaccinated during her pregnancy.
“Regardless of our vaccination status, when we contract this virus we look to doctors to save us, period," she said. "So why not look to them to help us prevent and stay as safe as we possible can?”
Vaccination rates among expectant mothers continue to be low despite pregnant women being at a higher risk. According to the CDC, about 23% of expecting women have received at least one dose.