AUSTIN (KXAN) — After mixed messages from healthcare professionals, more pregnant women are now opting to get the COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 1B in Texas. It’s a big decision for a mom who’s expecting.
Jessica Whited is a little over 17 weeks pregnant, almost halfway in her journey of having her first child. For the last month, she’s been debating whether or not to get the vaccine, but that all changed Friday.
“This was such a hard and stressful decision, and I’m not going to know for a long time if it was the right or wrong decision,” Whited said.
After talking with her doctors this week, she registered to get her first dose under Phase 1B.
“I didn’t sleep that night; I knew this was a huge decision not only for myself but for my baby,” Whited said.
Dr. John Thoppil, president of the Texas Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, has had patients take the vaccine, but would like to see more clinical trial research specifically focused on pregnant women.
“Now that we know this is a high-risk population, now it’s looking at the vaccine and saying is it safe…we think the vaccine is safe,” said Thoppil. “There’s no mechanism that should affect the baby or anything across it. It is really just creating protein outside of the cell’s nucleus so it doesn’t change the DNA.”
Even with all the data, doctors say it is a personal decision based on risks, exposures and research.
“I know that come June when my baby is here, and we are both healthy, it’s going to be one of the best moments of my life,” said Whited.
The latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests while there isn’t any data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines on breastfeeding infants, the shots aren’t considered to be a risk to them. Click here to see the latest guidance.