By Caroline Vandergriff

(CBSDFW.COM) – The CDC is now strongly recommending women who are pregnant get the COVID-19 vaccine as cases and hospitalizations continue to surge.

The agency cites growing data about the safety and effectiveness of the shot during pregnancy for the updated guidelines.

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Pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from the virus, according to the CDC.

“It’s very dangerous,” said Dr. Jay Herd, OBGYN and Chief Medical Officer at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center – Fort Worth. “We’re seeing an uptick in ICU admissions both before delivery, unfortunately having to do deliveries in the ICU, and then postpartum too.”

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The CDC says less than one in four of those who are pregnant have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.

“Our pregnant patients are worried about anything they put in their body, and they should be,” Dr. Herd said. “That’s why they should look at the studies, talk to their obstetrician, make sure it’s the right decision for them.”

There is currently no evidence that the vaccine increases miscarriage risk or causes fertility problems. Doctors say it will help protect pregnant women from getting extremely ill if they contract COVID-19.

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“We don’t want you to end up in ICU,” said Dr. Jessica Barker, and OBGYN with Medical City Healthcare. “We don’t want you to end up with preterm delivery, and we don’t want you to die. So we really encourage pregnant women to consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Caroline Vandergriff