TYLER, Texas — COVID-19 vaccinations are readily available for anyone ages 12 years or older, but there are still conversations being had on whether or not expecting mothers should receive the vaccine.
CBS19 asked on Facebook and of the three responses, 100 percent of the women said they received the vaccine while pregnant.
Melanie Goodson Martinez received the vaccine at around 6 or 7 months in her pregnancy, she said. Martinez added that she would "do it all over again." Martinez says she talked with her obstetrician beforehand and "got it [the vaccine] as quick as I could make an appointment."
Her questions prior to receiving the vaccine were centered around the safety of her child. She says she now has a healthy 4-month-old.
Unvaccinated expecting mothers tend to experience more aggressive COVID-19 symptoms, says Dr. Paul Fanning, Chief OB/GYN at CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic. Dr. Fanning says the hospitals have seen an increase in expecting mothers hospitalized due to the delta variant.
"We're starting to see very, very sick moms and sick babies and moms passing away, babies passing away," Fanning said. "This COVID has become much worse than the initial wave."
Dr. Fanning says the Delta variant is especially more aggressive for women in their 3rd trimester,
"This Delta variant seems to be much more aggressive, especially on pregnant women, especially in the third trimester .. we're seeing them come in very, very ill, seeing babies come in ill or passing away," Fanning said.
Dr. Fanning recommends the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine for his expecting patients and those that are not yet pregnant. For those that are pregnant, he says "one of the other advantages of getting the vaccination during pregnancy is that the antibodies that are produced by the stimulation from the vaccine can actually get passed to the baby and give the baby protection." Dr. Fanning says babies that breastfeed will continue receiving the protective antibodies.
Dr. Fanning says Regeneron treatments can help pregnant women experiencing mild symptoms that "may help them [symptoms] from getting worse." Regeneron antibody treatments are available in East Texas for those recommended by their doctor.