BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The Center of Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging people who are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, to get the COVID-19 vaccine after studies have shown there was no increased risk of miscarriage.

Experts say the Delta variant poses a significant threat to pregnant people; increasing their chance of being hospitalized, even dying from the virus. Both doctors and mothers in Birmingham like Gretchen McCreless are encouraging people to get the shot.

“The risk of the virus is so much worse than the risk of the vaccine,” McCreless said.

McCreless is also an OBGYN in the area. She recently gave birth to her son, Mac, in January.

“You are no longer taking care of yourself. You have a responsibility to take care of another human being,” McCreless said.

Before birth, McCreless wanted to do everything she could to protect her son from COVID-19. With her husbands encouragement, plus some nerves and anxiety, when the opportunity came to get the shot, she took it.

“I immediately jumped at the chance because I was so tired of being scared of the virus,” McCreless said.

She got her first shot when she was 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant. She received her second dose two weeks after Mac was born. She says both her and her son are perfectly fine.

“There are so many benefits. Not only are you protecting yourself, you’re giving your baby a layer of protection that they otherwise wouldn’t have,” McCreless said.

Dr. Elizabeth Blair is an OBGYN at Ascension St. Vincent’s East in Birmingham and says besides the CDC’s new recommendations, studies continue to show the vaccine offers protection for both the mother and baby.

“Like wherever you are today, go get your vaccine today. Because you want to be protected as soon as possible,” Dr. Blair said.

Dr. Blair says she has had plenty of conversations with her patients about the vaccine. When asked, she says she encourages them to get it.

“And personally if I had been pregnant during that time, I myself would have gotten vaccinated,” Dr. Blair said.

Because McCreless says she is forever thankful she got hers.

“All the research coming out to me has really just supported my decision. And made me feel more and more confident about it,” McCreless said.

Dr. Blair says there is a a health checker app called V-Safe, where anyone check their symptoms post vaccination. She says it’s a helpful tool for pregnant people.