HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In Texas, people who can currently get a COVID-19 vaccine fall under the state's COVID-19 vaccination distribution Phase 1A or Phase 1B criteria. Pregnant women are considered part of Phase 1B, but many have questions about whether it's safe for their unborn baby.
A Houston city council member who is also pregnant decided to get the shot publicly to help build confidence in other women.
"I will be the first to admit I was a little nervous to get the vaccine," said Councilmember Abbie Kamin. "I think that goes with the territory of being pregnant, especially for the first time."
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Many other pregnant women have also shown hesitancy, said Stephanie Humbert, division manager of the health department's nurse family partnership program. The program pairs a nurse with a low-income woman who is pregnant for the first time.
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She said about 10% of the 170 women who are currently participating in the program have received the vaccine.
"We are just in the beginning stages of explaining the COVID-19 vaccine, and what it can do, and that it won't harm them or their baby," Humbert said. "We are slowly changing minds, but I think it's going to take some time."
Ultimately, Kamin decided to get her vaccine publicly.
"When I walked into my doctor's office, I said, 'Hey, I think I want to get the vaccine,' and she goes, 'Please, please get it,'" Kamin said.
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Doctors have said the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine are not known to be harmful to pregnant women. But if pregnant women become infected with the coronavirus, they are at an increased risk of developing more severe illnesses.
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Pregnant Houston councilmember gets COVID-19 vaccine publicly