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Healthwatch 16: Pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine

Newswatch 16's Nikki Krize spoke with a woman who says getting vaccinated did not affect her fertility.

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — The COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 12, including women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

Samantha Deibler and her husband welcomed their daughter Amelia in 2013. The family from Northumberland always knew they wanted more than one child.

"Probably when she was around two and a half, we started trying for the second baby," Deibler said.

It hasn't been an easy road. Samantha had three miscarriages. She started fertility treatments last year when the COVID-19 vaccine was offered to her.

"We can say with certainty at this point that the vaccine does not cause fertility problems," said Dr. Jennifer Gell, a fertility specialist at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.

Dr. Gell says women going through fertility treatments have a lot invested, and anything that can change the course of those treatments is a stressor. Dr. Gell says the COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 12, including pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant.

"The risk of COVID and potential bad outcomes of COVID is to the ceiling. The potential risk of the vaccine is maybe a couple inches off the floor."

In addition to that, Dr. Gell says pregnant women are at a much higher risk for severe illness with COVID-19 than women who are not pregnant.

Samantha Deibert was vaccinated for COVID-19 last December and says the vaccine did not affect her fertility.

"I'll be 17 weeks pregnant this Friday," Deibert said. "I think a lot of people are so hung up on the scariness of it because they've never had something, a looming fear that something could happen."

Dr. Gell Says getting the COVID-19 vaccine is not only important for expectant mothers, but it is also important for unborn babies.