FORT WORTH, Texas — Two unborn babies died after their unvaccinated mothers contracted COVID-19, Texas health officials reported.
The women were 29 and 23 weeks along in their pregnancies, respectively, the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District announced Friday.
The deaths of their unborn children are considered to be “COVID-19 related fetal demise during pregnancy,” the health district said in a news release.
In one of the cases, health officials reported the pregnant woman was in her 20s when she lost her baby at 29 weeks. She was diagnosed with the coronavirus disease and was symptomatic. Her symptoms included nausea, vomiting, fever and congestion. She was living with a family member who had also tested positive for COVID-19.
In the second case, the woman was 23 weeks along in her pregnancy when she contracted the disease, officials said. Her age was not released.
“These are the first two known cases of fetal demise related to COVID-19 in Nueces County since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020,” the health district reported.
Earlier this summer, a Texas mom lost her unborn twins to COVID-19 in the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, McClatchy News previously reported.
As of Friday, the Texas Department of State Health Services has reported 363 COVID-19 cases and nine COVID-related fatalities in children under 1 year old.
In July, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine recommend that anyone pregnant should receive the COVID-19 vaccine. That recommendation came after “tens of thousands of reporting individuals over the last several months, as well as the current low vaccination rates and concerning increase in cases.”
CDC data show that 23.9% of pregnant people ages 18-49 had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine during their pregnancy as of Aug. 21. The CDC followed the ACOG by updating its own recommendation in mid-August, assuring pregnant people that the vaccines are safe and encouraging them to get the shot.
Pregnant individuals who contract COVID-19 have an increased risk for severe complications and death, the ACOG said in its news release.
“COVID-19 vaccination is the best method to reduce maternal and fetal complications of COVID-19 infection among pregnant people,” said William Grobman, president of SMFM, in the release.