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COVID-19 claims lives of two unborn Central Texas infants

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 5:15 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2021 at 6:41 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - COVID-19 has claimed the lives of two unborn Central Texas infants, the Waco-McLennan County Health District announced late Tuesday afternoon.

While the deaths occurred on July 20, a spokesperson for the Waco-McLennan County Health District said they’d just received the death certificates as they had to be verified by the Texas Dept. of State Health Services.

“Today was a gut punch, this has been probably one of the toughest days that we’ve had to go through,” said Kelly Craine, Public Information Officer at the WMCPHD. “It’s hard to talk about, this one is truly a tragic loss.”

The mother of the twins tested positive for COVID-19 during her pregnancy but has since recovered.

KWTX asked how far along the mother was, her age, and if she’d been vaccinated against the virus, however, health officials said they couldn’t answer due to health privacy laws.

“Pregnant women with COVID-19 are at increased risk of preterm birth and miscarriages” Local Health Authority Dr. Farley Verner said.

“Pregnant women or women of childbearing age and those breastfeeding are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their babies from COVID-19,” he said.

The number of pregnant women infected with COVID-19 has risen in the past several weeks, the health district said.

“Talk to your OB about getting vaccinated,” said Craine. “COVID has caused such loss of life, and the vaccine is safe and effective, and we know that pregnant women are very concerned about protecting their babies...it’s very important for pregnant women that they stay healthy, so have this conversation with you OB.”

The increased spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, low vaccination rates among pregnant women, and the increased risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications related to COVID-19 infection among pregnant women make vaccination for this population more urgent than ever, the health district said.

“It is highly recommended that you get vaccinated,” said Craine. “If you are vaccine hesitant at all, we just encourage everyone, all pregnant women, to talk to their OB about getting vaccinated.”

A new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis of data from the v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry found no increased risk of miscarriage among nearly 2,500 women who received either the Moderna or the Pfizer vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy, the health district said.

Just more than 43% of McLennan County residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated Tuesday.

The health district reported another 213 cases of the virus Tuesday, increasing the county’s total since the start of the pandemic to 31,619.

AT least 29,915 residents diagnosed with the virus haver recovered, and, according to local data, 498 have died, an increase of four.

Department of State Health Services data showed 506 deaths Tuesday.

At least 1,208 cases were active Tuesday and 151 residents diagnosed with the virus were hospitalized, 26 of them on ventilators.

One ICU bed was available in the county Tuesday.

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