Some doctors in Tulsa are urging pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine. One OB-GYN said the best time to get the vaccine is when a woman learns she is pregnant. She said do not wait until after your baby is born.
“It’s tragic to bring a new baby into the world and know that that child is never going to meet its' mother," Doctor Timmeni Stevens said.
Dr. Stevens with Utica Park Clinic said that this reality is something she's seeing with her patients and said that's why she is advocating for pregnant women to get the vaccine.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen a rise in severe illness and even death in our pregnant and postpartum patients. It’s at an alarming rate right now with the rise in the new Delta variant and the COVID-19 illness that we’re seeing," said Dr. Stevens.
She said the majority of her patients who end up with severe symptoms, have not been vaccinated. She said she understands expectant mothers being hesitant, but she believes it could prevent pregnancy complications associated with the virus.
“You know we are trying to do the right thing and are trying to do what’s best and safe for their pregnancy and their baby, and they are just hesitant to get vaccinated and we have a way to prevent the severity of this disease and death from this disease," Dr. Stevens said.
She said the vaccine could especially help pregnant women who already have compromised immune systems. “So when you do get a serious illness it takes you longer for your body to recognize that illness and to fight against it and it just doesn’t do as good of a job as when you’re not pregnant," Dr. Stevens said.
She said she hopes to see fewer pregnant women ending up in the hospital.
“I don’t remember our pregnant and post-partum patients dying at this alarming rate earlier in the pandemic and during that first surge," Dr. Stevens said.