Pregnant women can get COVID-19 vaccines at certain Jacksonville vaccination sites

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Many women may not know that if you’re pregnant right now, you can get your COVID-19 shot regardless of your age at a federally-run site like the one at Gateway Mall.

That’s because pregnancy is one of the conditions deemed extremely vulnerable for severe illness by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Baby Sophie came into the world just three weeks ago and her mom, Alexandra Walker, couldn’t be happier.

“She’s very spunky and fun, and has brought so much joy to our lives so far,” she said.

Walker is also a doctor, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology at UF Health Jacksonville.

When the COVID-19 vaccine became available and she was still pregnant, she decided to get it.

“For me, the hesitation was very small, ...once I considered the risk that we were up against,” said Walker.

She has also treated pregnant patients who became sick from COVID-19, so she knows firsthand how serious it can be.

The emeritus chair of the OB/GYN department at UF Health Jacksonville, Dr. Guy Benrubi, said so far, vaccinated pregnant women have fared well.

“There were no increased incidents of miscarriage, no increased incidents of any problems with the fetus after it was born,” he said.

Getting the vaccine may also benefit the baby.

“Increasing information that a pregnant patient who gets vaccinated with COVID and is also breastfeeding may transfer immunity to her newborn,” said Dr. Benrubi.

Dr. Walker said while she’s glad she got the vaccine, she also knows it’s a personal choice.

“I think you need to kind of weigh your lifestyle, your exposure risks,” she said.

If you’re pregnant and decide to get the vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages you to participate in the V-Safe Pregnancy Registry, which helps gather information on the health of pregnant people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

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