PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As more research is coming out showing COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant people, one former Portland resident is sharing her story, hoping it will encourage more women to talk to their doctors about getting vaccinated.
In February 2021, 25-year-old Nancy Vera and her husband were trying to start a family. Vera, who’s a certified nursing assistant, wanted to protect herself from COVID-19 but wanted to make sure a vaccine wouldn’t hurt her future baby.
“I was at first a little bit concerned. Just because it was a new vaccine. And COVID-19 was still fairly new. We didn’t know much about it,” Vera said.
After talking to her doctor and researching the information that was available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, Vera decided to get vaccinated. She hoped the vaccine would lessen her symptoms if she did contract the virus.
“It felt like the right decision,” she said.
Now at five months pregnant, Vera said both she and her baby are healthy. None of them is experiencing any negative effects from the virus.
The Oregon Health Authority says getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the safest thing a pregnant person can do for themselves and their baby.
“The data is literally very, very clear showing that vaccinated women do much, much better if they were to encounter the coronavirus, as opposed to unvaccinated women,” said Dr. Bukhosi Dube, a senior health advisor with OHA.
Bukhosi said doctors have been concerned about pregnant people contracting the virus throughout the pandemic, not just during the recent Delta variant surge. He said women who are sick with COVID-19 can have complications while giving birth.
He also said the largest OB-GYN societies strongly recommend that women who are pregnant or women who are considering getting pregnant get the vaccine.
“Antibodies are passed on from the mother to the child, especially when breastfeeding. So, it’s a good way to ensure that you protect your child after giving birth,” Dube said.
Vera is still confident she made the best decision for her and her baby. She encourages people to do research with credible sources if they’re on the fence about the vaccine.
“I just know that that the vaccine really does work. And I, I highly encourage everyone to get it on not only to save ourselves but to save those around us as well,” Vera said.