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'It was a no-brainer': Midlands moms share why they got vaccinated while pregnant

DHEC says unvaccinated pregnant people could face severe effects from COVID-19.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — COVID-19 infections in pregnant people are on the rise, according to the CDC.

New guidance from DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging those who are pregnant or breastfeeding to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

The CDC found the vaccine does not increase the chances of a miscarriage.

"Since we are currently having a pandemic of unvaccinated people, any pregnant woman who is unvaccinated is significantly more vulnerable to complications should she get COVID-19," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell in a press briefing Wednesday.

Doctors say COVID is likely to cause severe illness in expectant mothers who are unvaccinated and does appear to cause increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.

RELATED: DHEC says all pregnant women should get COVID vaccine

News 19 talked with two Midlands moms who got their shots while pregnant.

"We found out we were expecting in February, so I was a few months into the pregnancy at the time of me receiving the vaccine," said Allison Glenn, an educator in Orangeburg County.

Credit: Allison Glenn and Family (Courtesy: Allison Glenn)

Glenn became fully-vaccinated in April. The 37-year-old is expecting her fourth baby in November.

"When it came time for me to decide whether or not I wanted the vaccine, to me it was a no-brainer," said Glenn. "I've seen what COVID can do to a person."

She says in October 2020, her father, Rev. Willard Sabb, died from complications due to COVID-19. After that tragedy struck her family, Glenn says she witnessed other loved ones suffer from the virus.

So without hesitation, she got vaccinated, and says her only side effect was fatigue.

Credit: Allison Glenn and her father, Rev. Willard Sabb (Courtesy: Allison Glenn)

RELATED: No, COVID-19 vaccines do not cause infertility

"To be able to give the benefits of the vaccine to not only me but into the body of my unborn child so when he or she is born, they are already fighting what is out there," said Glenn. "There are so many other things that people every day do such as eating processed food. You don't know what's in your food half the time you're eating it. Tattoos, you don't know what's in the ink they're putting inside of your body. So the hesitation behind the vaccine, if it was a life or death situation, I'm going to choose the vaccine."

Following the vaccine, she helped the CDC by answering questions through their V-safe Health Checker, reporting any side effects or anything out of the ordinary.

She says she feels perfectly healthy.

"You want to do what's best for you and you also want to do what's best for your baby," said Glenn. "So like I tell everyone, do your own research, get the information for yourself, speak with your medical provider."

Krista Hinson of Lexington County was 29 weeks pregnant for her first dose in March and 32 weeks pregnant for her second dose.

"I got the Pfizer vaccine," said Hinson. "I felt an unexpected sense of relief when I got the first shot. 'Ok, I'm gonna be ok, my baby's gonna be ok.'"

RELATED: 'I've never been more concerned': Top SC disease expert says about COVID-19 in the state

Credit: Krista Hinson and Family (Courtesy: Krista Hinson)

RELATED: New study shows pregnant women and babies have strong immune response to COVID vaccine

Hinson works in the health care field.

Before she got vaccinated, she says she talked with her doctor and other health care professionals for guidance.

"I had a daughter three years ago who came a month early. That put me at a higher risk already for another pre-term labor situation," said Hinson. "[I was] just assessing the risk. The risk of not getting vaccinated versus the risk of getting vaccinated. For me, getting vaccinated carried very little risk with a lot of reward, a lot of potential benefit."

Hinson is also answering questions for the CDC about her experience using V-safe. Her only side effect to report was a sore arm.

"I realized this is a way I can not only protect myself and my community, but also my unborn child," said Hinson. 

After her vaccine, Hinson took to Twitter to tell her story about getting the life-saving shot while pregnant. She says the feedback was favorable, and it helped others gain the confidence they needed to get vaccinated while also helping clear misinformation.

Her baby is now three months old.

Credit: Courtesy: Krista Hinson

RELATED: CDC has new COVID vaccine recommendations for pregnant women

"He's perfect, healthy. They grow up so fast," said Hinson. 

Following her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, Hinson says she got the Tdap vaccine to help protect her baby from whooping cough. 

She says just like the COVID-19 vaccine, other vaccines are also safe for pregnant women, helping provide protection for the unborn.

"If you feel like the vaccine is right for you, but there's somebody who says you shouldn't do that because you're pregnant, you don't owe anybody an explanation for why you choose to do what you choose to do for your health and your baby's health," said Hinson. "We don't need to be worried or defend our choices if we feel comfortable with the choices we're making."

DHEC says, of particular concern, less than 25% of women overall and less than 10% of women under age 25 in the U.S. are fully-vaccinated.

Across the nation, the variant is fueling an uptick in cases. 

The seven day average of new daily cases now stands at 113,000, a nearly 24% increase and a more than 400% increase in the last month.