By Tiffany Chan

BOSTON (CBS) – After months of ambiguity, the Centers for Disease Control is now urging women who are pregnant or breastfeeding to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“You do not want to be a pregnant woman and get COVID,” said UMass Memorial Medical Center Epidemiologist Dr. Richard Ellison. “This is the best way to protect yourself.”

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Doctors from both UMass Memorial and Brigham and Women’s Hospital told WBZ-TV that getting the vaccine is the safest move for not only the patient, but their baby.

“I think over several months; we’ve been able to accumulate evidence that vaccines are safe for pregnant women and that pregnant women are not more likely to have complications from the vaccine,” said Brigham and Women’s Hospital OBGYN Dr. Khady Diouf.

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Laura Messina of Norwood is expecting a baby boy in October. After weeks of research and conversations with her doctor, she decided to get the Moderna vaccine in March with no regrets.

“I feel like if I can protect myself and the baby in one fell swoop, especially since little ones aren’t eligible to get vaccinated yet – I needed to do that for my child,” Messina explained.

Dr. Ellison agrees, assuring pregnant women who are skeptical about getting vaccinated that it’s safe.

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“The risk for getting the vaccination is incredibly, incredibly small,” he said. “There are over 100,000 pregnant women who have gotten the vaccine without any significant side effects.”

Tiffany Chan