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SC physicians – and a new dad – continue to call for COVID vaccination in pregnancy

When Jamal Chubb entered a Zoom call with members of the media and physicians from Prisma Health, he had a smile on his face. The reason? His wife, Cierra, was alert and awake and responding to commands – a vast improvement in her condition following the delivery of their third child just three weeks earlier amidst her ongoing battle with COVID-19. 

“Cierra is my best friend,” Chubb said. 

The Lancaster couple also has two other children, ages 7 and 2. Jamal Chubb was vaccinated against COVID, but they were waiting for more information about the vaccines and pregnant women, so Cierra had not been vaccinated when their daughter got sick at a sports camp. Once Cierra showed symptoms, her illness progressed quickly.

“It’s been quite the journey,” Chubb said. “The worst part of this – at one point, I was sitting by her bedside holding our son, Myles, and watching Cierra’s condition deteriorate, watching her struggle to breathe with my own eyes while I’m holding the future of my family.”

Chubb said he was terrified as his wife’s FaceTime calls dwindled from four, to three, to two each day and then she was placed on a ventilator. 

Helmut Albrecht, Medical Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at Prisma Health, said the fight for Cierra’s survival has been tough.

“We would like to have less of those,” Albrecht said. “We don’t win all of them.”

Chubb wants other families to avoid what his is enduring. 

“I’m not attempting to shame anyone or make anyone feel bad for not having enough information, for not taking the vaccine,” he said. 

He said he hears the arguments that only two percent of those who contract COVID will die.

“The two percent is 100 percent of somebody’s world,” he said. “I don’t want this for anyone. Please. I’m pleading with you. Do what you need to do to protect your health, the health of your children and the health of your family.”

Albrecht said the latest guidelines recommend that not only those who are pregnant or trying to conceive get vaccinated right away, but also that women who could become pregnant get vaccinated. 

“We have lost babies. We have lost pregnant moms to this,” he said. 

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