Health officials encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – More than half of South Dakotans 12-years-and-older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Health officials at one Sioux Falls hospital are hoping more people will take advantage of the vaccine — including those who are pregnant.

Elizabeth Hultgren is not only an OBGYN at Sanford, but also a new mom.

“I have a little girl, she is 11 weeks old, she is doing fantastic, eating, meeting all of her milestones she needs to,” said OBGYN physician and new mom, Elizabeth Hultgren.

While pregnant with her daughter, she decided to get her COVID-19 vaccine.

“I decided to get vaccinated essentially as soon as they were offering it to physicians within the community, I was vaccinated at 25 weeks and 28 weeks because I received the Pfizer,” Hultgren said.

Abrea Roark is an OBGYN with Sanford. She says if you have questions or concerns about receiving the vaccine, you should talk with your doctor.

“We know that the COVID vaccine is going to be safer for you than getting COVID in pregnancy, which is going to come with a lot more risks should mom or baby get COVID,” OBGYN at Sanford Women’s, Abrea Roark said.

“With the vaccine there is really no known severe side effects with pregnancy, there’s no risk of pre-term birth, no risk of pre-term delivery, no increased risk if you plan to breastfeed,” Hultgren said.

Making this not only important in keeping herself protected, but also her baby.

“There is great information out there currently that babies who have been born to moms that have the vaccine have COVID antibodies themselves and in addition moms that are breastfeeding that have had vaccine are passing antibodies to their babies,” Hultgren said.

Roark says whichever vaccine is available is safe to get, just make sure to continue with the second dose.

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