St. Louis nurse’s heartbreaking loss may help pregnant women

Missouri

Pregnant women uncertain about taking COVID-19 vaccine

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A local nurse is sharing her story of loss to encourage pregnant women to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Vanessa Alfermann, 32, is a nurse at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. She tested positive for COVID-19 while pregnant, just before the vaccine was available for healthcare workers.

NBC News reports that Alfermann was rushed to the hospital for an emergency birth at 20 weeks because of a complication with COVID-19. Her child, who she named Axel, did not survive. She never got to hold her son while he was alive.

The experience left Alfermann devastated. Now, she wants her son’s legacy to help others make the decision to get the vaccine so this does not happen again.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging all pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The advice comes as hospitals in hot spots around the U.S. see disturbing numbers of unvaccinated mothers-to-be seriously ill with the virus. The CDC recommendation echoes recent guidance from top obstetrician groups. The agency had previously encouraged pregnant women to consider vaccination. Pregnant women run a higher risk of severe illness from the coronavirus. But their vaccination rates are low.

On Sunday Vanessa Alfermann shared this Facebook status update:

“When I was asked to share axels story I knew there was the chance it would be twisted and picked apart. A reporter from New York did a beautiful job of expressing what I want for Axels legacy. I just want his story to change the narrative where someone can save themselves before they are asking us to save them! ❤️”

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