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The COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy: An SC Family Shares Their Story

Virus Outbreak-Pregnancy-Vaccination
Charles Krupa/AP
FILE - In this May 7, 2020 file photo, a pregnant woman waits in a food pantry line at St. Mary's Church in Waltham, Mass., for people in need of groceries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

On August 11th, the CDC recommended that those who are pregnant get vaccinated for COVID-19 after the agency had found no increased risk of miscarriage among those who’ve been immunized.

At the time South Carolina residents Jamal and Cierra Chubb were expecting their third child, information on pregnant women getting vaccinated had not yet been released. So, the Chubbs decided it was best for Cierra to wait while Jamal went ahead with receiving the vaccine. But just two weeks before their baby was to be born this month, Cierra caught COVID-19.

The Chubb family had been faithful in following the recommended COVID-19 health protocols: social distancing, masking, and staying home as much as possible. Yet Jamal says that one of their children, who had attended a sports camp, returned with the virus, which began to spread through the family.

Cierra began to show symptoms of the virus, and just three days later, she was hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia. Her son, Miles, was delivered two weeks early. Cierra’s health continued to decline and, at one point, Jamal said she went into asystole. Cierra had technically died, Prisma Health's Dr. Helmut Albrecht said, but was revived and put on a ventilator.

Jamal described the anguish he and his family went through as Cierra struggled in the hospital with COVID-19, holding her newborn son in his arms, all facing the unknown. But Cierra eventually began showing signs of improvement, responding to questions with gestures and gaining more strength with each new day.

Jamal says his wife is slowly recovering, but that she still has a long way to go. For this reason, the Chubb family, along with Dr. Albrecht and his associate Dr. Berry Campbell, are all encouraging those who are pregnant and are medically cleared to do so, to get vaccinated for COVID-19. More information about the COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy is available at the CDC's website here.

Linda Núñez is a South Carolina native, born in Beaufort, then moved to Columbia. She began her broadcasting career as a journalism student at the University of South Carolina. She has worked at a number of radio stations along the East Coast, but is now happy to call South Carolina Public Radio "home." Linda has a passion for South Carolina history, literature, music, nature, and cooking. For that reason, she enjoys taking day trips across the state to learn more about our state’s culture and its people.