MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District reported two COVID-19-related fetal deaths in McLennan County.
Before these two deaths, the youngest person to die of the virus in the county was a 21-year-old.
The health district said the two deaths happened in July. According to officials, the mother was pregnant with twins and had COVID-19 during the pregnancy and recovered. There was no word on how far along in the pregnancy the mother was or if the mother was vaccinated or not.
"The risk is real," said Kelly Craine with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District. "What we've seen can happen, you know your worst thoughts, your worst nightmare, has happened -- It's doesn't have to happen to you."
“Pregnant women with COVID-19 are at increased risk of preterm birth and miscarriages” said Local Health Authority Dr. Farley Verner. “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."
The health department said clinicians have see the number of pregnant people with COVID-19 rise "in the past several weeks."
"The increased circulation of the highly contagious delta variant, the low vaccine uptake among pregnant people, and the increased risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications related to COVID-19 infection among pregnant people make vaccination for this population more urgent than ever," the department said in the release.
Craine wants people to know the vaccine protects people even those in the womb.
"Mothers are always so focused on protecting their babies when they're pregnant, particularly whatever you eat, whatever you breathe, household cleaners that you use, it's always very focused on protecting your baby -- think about COVID in that same way," she said.
Craine said you can start the process by having a conversation with your obstetrician-gynecologist about what vaccine would be good for you as it is a personal decision.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the vaccine is safe for moms who are pregnant or breastfeeding, along with their babies.