OPELIKA, Ala (WRBL) – East Alabama Health is urging pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. The Opelika hospital is treating several pregnant patients and new moms for severe complications associated with the virus.

“This delta virus has come very quickly; these moms get very sick very quickly. We are begging people to get vaccinated and stay quarantined if they are close to delivering their baby. My nurses are devastated. I need people to hear the message; it is bad. We are encouraging you anytime during your pregnancy to get vaccinated. Even if you are close to delivering, anything you can do now is going to help protect that baby later,” said Rosemary Cummings, EAMC’s Executive Director of Women’s Services.

Cummings says the pregnant women are overall healthy females, who have fallen gravely ill with the virus.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021, The CDC released new data on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people and is recommending all people 12 years of age and older get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“CDC encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible Delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people.”

Of the 72 patients hospitalized with COVID at East Alabama health Wednesday morning, 61 were unvaccinated (85%), while eight were fully vaccinated (11%) and three were partially vaccinated (4%).

Meanwhile, East Alabama Health is taking extraordinary actions to fight the surge. Their COVID testing site is reopened. They are administering vaccines at several locations. East Alabama Health is treating COVID patients on two floors and two ICUs. Waiting rooms have been converted into additional COVID infusion areas. The hospitals are hiring staff from out of town to care for patients. Plus, the hospital is canceling inpatient elective procedures and asking employees to work extra shifts.

East Alabama Health is asking you to get vaccinated, mask, and social distance.