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Following CDC advisory, Des Moines doctors urge pregnant people to get COVID-19 vaccine

Pregnant women are more likely to have a severe case of COVID-19.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Can one vaccine help two people? For pregnant people, yes!

Iowa healthcare providers are teaming up for the "Give Your Baby its Best Shot" Initiative, encouraging pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women and women who recently gave birth are more likely to have severe symptoms from the virus, but only about 25% of pregnant women are vaccinated. 

The CDC issued a health advisory on Wednesday to urge pregnant people to get their necessary shots.

Getting the vaccine is completely safe, both for mothers and their children. Dr. Neil Mandsager explained why during a press conference on Wednesday.

"These drugs or chemicals have to cross the placenta to cause harm to your baby. And the vaccine does not cross the placenta. So you do not have to be worried that the vaccine can cause any problems to your baby," said Dr. Neil Mandsager, a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist with MercyOne.

McKenzie Parker is a mom who got the vaccine while in her third trimester. She sees the vaccine like all the other health advice she followed while pregnant.

RELATED: CDC issues advisory urging pregnant people to get COVID vaccine

"Just like any other prenatal care, you get during your pregnancy. You really want to take care of yourself and your baby, and this is just another way to keep yourself and your baby safe," Parker said.

If you still have concerns about how the vaccine works and how it could impact your baby, there's no one better to ask than your doctor.

RELATED: Pandemic spurs nursing students into in-depth experience at Iowa hospitals

"I want to urge you to please share your questions and your concerns with your medical provider. Trust their professional guidance on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine," said Dr. Kareen Olesen, an OBGYN with Broadlawns Medical Center.

None of the medical specialists today had any recommendations for which specific vaccine a pregnant woman should get. 

Parker told Local 5 that her now 5-month-old baby is happy, healthier, and a heavier sleeper than expected.

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