- Brittany Bates, 30, is a stay-at-home mom in Kansas who got both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, plus a booster, while pregnant.
- She got her third shot last week and is due to give birth this week.
- This is why she got the shot and what her side effects were, as told to freelance writer Sarah Prager.
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This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Brittany Bates, a stay-at-home mom from Kansas, about getting the Pfizer vaccine and booster shot. It has been edited for length and clarity.
I’m due to deliver my baby this week, and while I’m grateful I was able to get all three Pfizer vaccine shots during this pregnancy, I didn’t always feel that way.
When the pandemic hit, my family of four took it seriously. I take immunosuppressants for Crohn’s disease so I’m at high risk for severe illness or worse if I were to catch COVID. I was already mostly staying home with our kids, who are now 6 and 4 years old, but I quit my job working weekends as a server in March 2020 to be safer.
When the vaccine became available in early 2021, I was a bit hesitant about getting it in early pregnancy
I was in my first trimester and while I knew I would want to be vaccinated eventually, I was nervous about how new it was and what the effects might be on my baby, especially in early development.
Read more: The CDC is urging pregnant women to get vaccinated, saying it has ‘never been more urgent’
There was a lot of disinformation floating around and it was hard to dig through it all. I had every member of my care team at KU Medical Center dumb it down for me and had conversation after conversation about my questions. The more I talked with them, the more I was able to understand clearly without the noise of what was confusing me online.
My decision became clear and at nine weeks pregnant on March 27, 2021 I got my first shot at the same KU Medical Center where I was receiving all of my other prenatal care, which made me feel more comfortable.
I got my second shot at the same location towards the end of my first trimester and with both shots my only side effect was a sore arm
My confidence in the vaccine only increased over the months as my own education grew. I’m lucky that all of my close family members got vaccinated right away as well and even my extended family got vaccinated even if they had some initial hesitation. But in mom circles in my Kansas town, feelings weren’t so united. I’ve drifted from many of them because we’re keeping a safe distance with COVID, but I found out when I got my third shot just how susceptible to conspiracy theories they are.
Read more: Epidemiologists debunk the 14 biggest coronavirus myths
Getting the Pfizer booster when I became eligible was an easy decision because now I know so much more about the vaccine than I did seven months ago. When I posted on my social media about getting it on October 11, I got a barrage of messages from moms saying they couldn’t believe I was getting the shot while pregnant. Thankfully, I know with confidence I’m doing what’s right for me and my family.
As I head into delivering my first baby girl, I know I did the right thing by her to make an educated decision based on talking to doctors, not heeding online comments.