MSNBC's Katy Tur announced on Thursday — the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus being declared a global pandemic — that she received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine while seven months pregnant with her second child.
Tur first shared the news live on MSNBC. In New York, where Tur is based, pregnancy is considered a medical condition making a person eligible to receive the vaccine.
She shared a short video of herself receiving the shot, joking that the moment was "so exciting and kind of overwhelming" that she "forgot to hold (her) phone the right way for television."
"I can hardly believe it," Tur said on air after sharing the video. "One year ago, or one year since the country went into lockdown, we already have multiple vaccines that are extraordinarily effective at fighting this virus. And as of today, I am halfway toward being fully vaccinated."
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The "MSNBC Live with Katy Tur" host said that she initially had been a little concerned about getting the vaccine while pregnant, telling TODAY Parents that she spoke to several obstetricians, NBC News medical contributors, and friends and family who were doctors.
"I thought that the science behind the development of vaccines and the safety in theory was persuasive, and the risks of getting COVID just so far outweighed the risks of taking the vaccine," Tur told TODAY Parents. "It was just hammered home (when) we had a COVID scare at my house last week. I was just thinking, 'I've made it a year without getting this; God forbid I get it right now.'"
One of the doctors who Tur contacted was Dr. Peter Hotez, a dean at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital. Hotez appeared on Tur's show to talk about the risks that pregnant women can face during the pandemic. Pregnant women are currently eligible to be vaccinated in 20 states.
"If you’re pregnant and you’re unfortunate enough to get COVID-19, you have a 60% increased likelihood of going to an intensive care unit and maybe as much as an 80% or even higher increased risk of needing ventilation," said Hotez, citing studies from the British Medical Journal. "We also know that this virus, even though it doesn't get into your unborn baby, it can attach to the placenta ... with full effects to be looked at. The risk of not being vaccinated is extremely high."
Hotez also said that while large clinical trials in pregnant women are still being conducted, data can be found about the vaccine in pregnant women, since multiple women in each vaccine trial became pregnant while they were participating in the trial.
"If you were pregnant, you were excluded from the trial, but a number of women became pregnant during the study," Hotez said. "There were no, as far as I know, adverse effects. ... All of that information was used (in) a statement put out by the American College of Obsetricians and Gynecologists to give a pretty full-throated endorsement for getting vaccinated."
Hotez noted that women who are pregnant should talk with their doctors and consider their own personal risk, but he said he would strongly recommend seeking out the shot.
"What I’ve been recommending is that if you are pregnant, the consequences of getting COVID-19 can be so dire," he said, "and the news we have so far, which is still incomplete, is looking really good to get vaccinated."